Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interview with drummer Robb Rivera of Nonpoint

Over two years ago I embarked on a journey that has taken me places that I never could have imagined. I’ve had the pleasure to meet, party and interact with some of the greatest talent rock n’ roll has ever known. My very first assignment that was given to me, as a test run at the time, was a review of Nonpoint’s new (at the time) album Miracle. I was so excited to get to start my career in writing off with a band that I’ve loved for nearly a decade, I couldn’t wait to get started.

And here we sit over two years later and I have the pleasure of interviewing one of the most underrated drummers in the current rock scene, Robb Rivera of Nonpoint. The most exciting thing about it is that it comes on the heels of hearing their self-titled album, Nonpoint, for the first time. A decade, more than a few lineup changes and a completely different music scene later, they have their best piece of work to date. Nonpoint’s self-titled album, for a lack of better words, is absolutely incredible. It’s insanely eclectic with jumps from old school metal to kick your ass thrash metal. And how they figured out how to put those two things within the same record and still make the ebbs and flows of it all tie together flawlessly, is a mystery to me. It speaks to the musicianship the Nonpoint guys have and the fact that they are easily the most humble and determined band out there. Without further adieu, here is my interview with Robb, as we talk about their current tour, their new record and the new talent they have in the band.

Aaron Manogue: You guys are in the middle of a pretty extensive touring schedule. How have things been on the road?
Robb Rivera: It is going really good right now. It's funny that you ask how it's going, besides having fun I can safely say that each and every tour we do we learn something new all the time. But it has been a lot of fun being out here again, reconnecting with the fans and playing shows!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Interview with Jonny Hetherington of Art of Dying

What would it be like for your band to open for Guns n’ Roses as well as some of today’s top rock bands within literally 3 or 4 years of being a signed band? Impossible right? Wrong! Art of Dying has quickly become one of the hottest rock bands on the scene today and they’ve done it all with simple blood, sweat, tears and kick ass rock n’ roll. Being on the road basically nonstop for almost 3 years isn’t something most bands would ever want, but Art of Dying has thrived while touring the world. Their music can’t be compared to pretty much anyone out there today because they’ve always done things their way, and clearly they have the formula figured out. Hard Rock Review's Aaron Manogue talked with their lead vocalist Jonny Hetherington about their success and their upcoming show on July 6th at Summerfest!

Aaron Manogue:
It seems like you guys have been on the road forever. What’s it been like being away from home and on the road for so long?
Jonny Hetherington: It’s great man! Some of the bands we’ve come across love the road and some of them look at it as work and can’t wait to get home. We’re the opposite of that. We love being on the road and hanging out together and playing shows every night.

AM: You guys seem to be on such a hot streak because it’s like everything you guys put out catches fire. What has the ride of the past two or three years been like?
JH: It’s crazy man. I’ve been literally pinching myself on a daily basis. A lot of the stuff we’re doing we dreamt of doing as a little kid. It’s definitely been a “pinch yourself” experience. Whether it’s watching your song rise on the charts or finding out you’re opening for Guns n’ Roses! We’re literally in shock half the time.

AM: What was it like opening for GNR?
JH: You know what? We try and learn a lot from other bands on tour so it’s constantly like school. We watch the other bands and you pick up the good things and if there are any pitfalls you can kind of see those things coming and try to avoid them. It’s always a great learning experience to be an opening band because you get to learn from some of the veterans.

AM: What’s been your favorite point of being out on the road for so long?
JH: Wow man. So many of the shows have just been the highest point you could imagine. It’s weird because we look back and watch some of our shows from a year or two ago and like a football team we look at it like a game tape and make sure we’re always improving. Some of the shows we’ve done in the past week or so, it’s like we’re in the zone which I think only touring for this long can get you into. It’s like walking on air sometimes when you’re playing. You can just close your eyes and you’re so in the moment and you kind of just lost yourself. I hope it’s something we can do forever and I hope our fans and the people that support us start to lose themselves in the music at our shows because that’s the magic.

AM: Speaking of killer shows, on July 6th you guys will be playing at Summerfest, the World’s Largest Music Festival. How pumped are you guys for that show?
JH: I can’t even put it into words, man! I’ve heard of Summerfest but I’ve never been. When we found out we were playing it we were just high fiving each other because we were just so excited. What’s better than a summer festival of rock music? Nothing! I think we’re playing pretty much when the sun starts to set so it’s definitely going to be one of those legendary shows. I can see it already! We’re definitely going to lose ourselves on July 6th

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mr. Lowery Plays "Angel's Son" with Sevendust

To honor the life and legacy that Clint & Corey Lowery's dad left behind, we found really cool video of Sevendust playing "Angel's Son" when they invited Mr. Lowery out on stage to help them. It's truly a surreal moment and really shows the love all the Sevendust nation and the Lowery family had for this great man. Today we honor you, Mr. Lowery!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Serianna Covers Eminem's "Lose Yourself"

Our boys from Janesville, WI have just released a cover of the infamous "Lose Yourself" by the one and only Eminem. We think their version is a pretty kick ass revision of the song. They follow much of the songs lyrics and rhythms but definitely make it their own. All part of the ingredients of making a kick ass cover.  Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Stone Sour Song 'The Pessimist'

The Stone Sour boys are back at it in a big way. Check out their new release and download it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Interview with Max Cavalera of Soulfly

Max Cavalera is a name that is synonymous with metal music. Name basically any type of metal and Cavalera has not only done work in that type of metal, but perfected it. His music has transcended decades of an ever changing music industry, where it seems like what is deemed as metal changes each and every day. And here we are, in his third decade of being in the metal business, and Cavalera and Soulfly are about to release their heaviest metal ever. “Enslaved” is about all the crazy shit that has happened in our world in the past century. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with Max Cavalera to talk about Soulfly’s new record “Enslaved”, having his son tour South America with him, and what it was like having Dez Fafara of Devildriver do some guest vocals on the record.

Aaron Manogue: Tell me about your first single and the song you just released “World Scum.” When I first heard it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s so dark and just musically raw but it’s weaved together so perfectly it works great.
Max Cavalera: It all started with a death metal riff that I wrote that and it’s really cool. It’s kind of a Possessed and Dark Angel kind of style which really grew into a great song with the lyrics that talk about the last hundred years. All the fucked up shit that’s happened in the world like Auschwitz and the gas chambers, J.F.K. getting shot and that conspiracy, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, assassination of Czar Alexander II, all of that. Then the last scene is the final battle between Jesus and the anti-Christ in Israel. It’s kind of a concept song about the history of the last hundred years, the Bloody Century as I call it in the song.

It has a ton of dynamics with a slow part in the middle that I do some kind of talking voice and then goes into a really cool solo that Marc did. It’s got guest vocals from Cattle Decapitation, which is a band that I really like and one of my favorite new bands that has come out lately. Travis did some really awesome heavy vocals which were really death metal oriented. I really like the energy of the song because it’s really powerful. It should be awesome to play live. I’m really excited about this one.

Manogue: The entire album has the dark, ominous feeling of the all the fucked up shit that’s happened around the world in the past century. It has a slavery feel to it all too. Where did it all come from?
Cavalera: Yeah, the idea of the record is mostly about slavery and it’s about old slavery and new slavery. I’m surprised more bands have not touched on the subject because it’s a real heavy topic and it’s easy to mix with metal. It makes a really combination. I decided to make a record that sings about it with songs like “Legion” and “Gladiators” which is like Roman Empire enslavement. You get stuff like “Chains” which is about black slavery and a bit of the slavery that goes on in the world right now. There’s a song called “Intervention” which was inspired by all the riots going on in Egypt and all the stuff that’s going on in the Middle East. Like the riots and taking out dictators is about interventions and stuff. So there’s a little bit of everything in the record with a lot of heavy subjects that go good with metal music. I decided to make the album more on the death metal side. This album has more metal riffs than any other album than I ever did so it was really exciting to me to make this record.

Manogue: There’s been a rumor that your son might possibly be a guest drummer on your upcoming Brazil tour. Is there any truth to that?
Cavalera: Yeah. I’m bringing him to Brazil to some of my shows. We got three shows in Brazil, one in Chile and one in Argentina and I am bringing Zyon. I’ve been practicing with him for three hours a day and go through the whole Soulfly set. He’s doing killer and he already did a show with us in Belgium where he did really good. People really liked it. And then after that David (Kinkade) comes in because he’s the drummer on the album and then we get back to normal, to the real lineup of the band. That was just something I wanted to do for South America. Something special, kind of a special guest thing for the South American tour and it’s actually been pretty cool.

Manogue: You talked a little bit about your new lineup with Marc Rizzo , Tony Campos(Static-X, Ministry) and David Kinkade (Borknagar) coming together on the new record. You guys seemed to really create kind of a new feel, but still with the Soulfly signature sound on it.
Cavalera: It was great, man! Tony is really professional and is a wicked awesome bass player. It was exciting to play with him because he was really into my riffs and every time I put a new riff out onto the table he really liked it. I played with David before we even entered the studio. David came here and spent two days jamming with me and we went onto the songs and I was blown away by how good his double bass was. Real precise, real solid, and like a machine. It reminded me of old Fear Factory, Morbid Angel and Gojira. It got me inspired to write stuff that he can use. I told him to really use and abuse the double bass on the album and that there’s no limit for it. Just kind of go for it and go crazy and he did. Almost every song has double bass in it.

I really like the new lineup. I think we have really good chemistry between the four of us. Marc did some great guitar stuff on the record. My favorite thing he did is on the song “Treachery.” He created this middle part that sounded like “Diary of a Madman” (by Ozzy Osbourne). Even when he did it in the studio I said, “Man, that’s fucking awesome!” And he added a solo that sounded like Pink Floyd with slide guitars that sounded like David Gilmore. I was like, “Whoa man. You’re going to a whole new level!” On “Plata O Plomo”, which is a song Pablo Escobar from Columbia, Marc did some amazing Flamenco. It just blew me away. We got a really good combo man. We got a really good group of musicians and really awesome guys who are ready to fuck shit up.

Manogue: You guys featured former Coal Chamber vocalist and current Devildriver vocalist Dez Fafara on “Redemption of Man by God”. What was it like working with him?
Cavalera: It was really killer man. Dez is a great guy and we’ve known each other for a long time and I’ve just been waiting to have a chance to work with him on a record and the chance came now. I was in the studio and I found out that Devildriver was going to be close to me playing in Phoenix so I made a date for him to come to the studio. Dez came and I played him the song and it really had this like Egyptian kind of Middle Eastern guitar intro and had this classic thrash, death metal thrash vibe. There was a preacher that came out of Tony’s bass cab and was talking about biblical stuff in Egypt and killing of the first born babies and the death angel and blood on the doors and all this crazy shit. Our producer Zues recorded this guy talking and he put it at the end of the song. Then Dez listened to it and got really excited and wanted to do a song about it. Dez also told me that his dad was a preacher in the south and I guess it had something to do with the snake cults. He added snake type stuff to it like “venom of snake” and kind of rituals with the southern religious groups that deal with snakes. It was great. We had such a good time in the studio and we sing back to back in the chorus. It was fucking awesome. I love working with him and we had a good time and the song came out great.

Enslaved will be available everywhere March 13, but you can pre-order it now and get three digital bonus tracks and the first 400 orders get a CD booklet autographed by all four members!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Marilyn Manson Single "No Reflection"

After a very long wait, Marilyn Manson has finally released his new single "No Reflection" online. His new album Born Villain is reportedly due out this spring, but no official date has been announced. Manson also released a list of 2012 tour dates, which you can find below the video:

Marilyn Manson 2012 Tour Dates

04/27 Providence, RI – Lupo’s At The Strand
04/28 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Casino
04/29 Huntington, NY – Paramount Theatre
05/01 Silver Spring, MD – Fillmore
05/02 Montclair, NJ – Wellmont Theatre
05/04 Atlantic City, NJ – House Of Blues
05/05 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
05/06 Grand Rapids, MI – Orbit Room
05/08 Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom
05/09 Sioux Falls, SD – W.H. Lyons Fair Grounds
05/11 Dallas, TX – House Of Blues
05/12 San Antonio, TX – Sunken Gardens
05/13 Houston, TX – House Of Blues
05/15 Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
05/16 Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theatre
05/18 Minneapolis, MN – The Brick
05/19 Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
05/20 Columbus, OH – Rock On The Range Festival

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

4 Year-Old Covers "Chop Suey" by System of a Down on Drums

So my good friend Johnny Z posted this to my Facebook wall and I HAD to share. This kid is only 4 years-old and he rocks the drum cover of "Chop Suey" by System of a Down. This was too cool not to share!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

From Within "Take AEM" Review

It's our featured band of the month, From Within! This young group of guys are based out of Orlando, FL, already sharing the stage with In Flames, Trivium, Eye Empire, Kyng, and many more. Their style wanes between metalcore and almost an old school thrash, but they make it all their own. And for a band that is so young, that's saying a lot. Even if you don't like metalcore or the screaming that comes along with thrash metal, take a listen to these guys and you won't be able to ignore the massive musical talent. Here's our first review of one of their newest songs "Take AEM."

From Within is:
Vocals-Danny Vega
Guitar-Josh Demmer
Guitar-Colby Berger
Drums-Alex Berger
Bass-Jonathan Davis

It really is surprising to me the technical ability of a lot of young musicians out there today. Maybe it's the overload of online tutorials and other learning tools, but these kids are really something. That's the first impression I had when hearing From Within's newest release "Take AEM." Each and every member has their strong points and SO much potential.

"Take AEM" starts out with a killer riff that is the heart and soul of the song. It has one of those rhythms that you catch yourself humming out loud as you carry on throughout the day. The song quickly develops into somewhat of an anthem as it picks up the pace and turns into that metalcore feel. Danny Vega's strong vocals pierce the veil of the normalcy throughout the song with solid screams and no scratches or bumps which is typical for younger metalcore bands.

There's a lamenting breakdown verse in the middle of the song that fits perfectly with the flow of the rest of the song. They use the breakdown to actually pick up the pace of the song soon after and the way i its all composed is pretty impressive. Soon after comes a the prototypical metalcore solo, but I really like how they didn't try to do too much with it. It's clean. It's smooth. It fits.

Overall, the song is absolutely impressive. For such a young band, their writing, technical and pure playing ability is killer and this is definitely a song and band to check out. From Within ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meat Loaf Calls Slipknot a "Metal Beethoven"

In an recent interview, iconic musician Meat Load compare Slipknot to "a metal Beethoven." Yup, that sound you just heard was our respect for Meat Loaf sky rocketing. Check it out!