Device – Vilify

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Device just debuted the Official music video for their first single “Vilify”!!

I love the electronic vibe combined with David’s voice, its a fantastic combination!


Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Frontman of the Week – Corey Taylor

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Early Life

Corey Todd Taylor was born on the 8th of December 1973, he is an American musician famous for his role as lead vocalist and lyricist of Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Corey Taylor was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Corey briefly lived in Orlando with his uncle, although Corey was raised by his mother in Waterloo, Iowa for the most part. Corey described Waterloo as a hole in the ground with buildings around it. He has a Belgian, Polish and Danish background that he inherited from his father’s side.

Corey was raised by his single mother and he grew up not knowing his father. His father left prior to his birth and at his mother’s request remained absent from Corey’s life.

Corey developed a liking toward classic rock after his grandmother introduced it to him. In 1979 Corey and his mother was watching the science fiction series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century when the trailer for the 1978 horror movie “Halloween” came on. This introduced Corey to masks and horror themes. On the other hand his grandmother fueled his love for rock music playing him a collection of Elvis Presley’s songs from the mid-fifties to late seventies. Corey especially developed a liking toward the songs “Teddy Bear”, “In The Ghetto” and “Suspicious Minds”. He also started listening to Black Sabbath starting with their early work.

Corey along with his mother and sister lived in an old dilapidated farmhouse, which in late autumn would look like Black Sabbath’s album covers. By the age of 15 Corey had already developed a drug addiction and by that time he had already overdosed on cocaine twice. At that time Corey was living in Waterloo Iowa, but he later decided to set out on his own. He ended up living in his grandmother’s trailer in Ohio. His grandmother took legal custody of him and helped him buy musical equipment. When Corey was 18 years old he left his grandmother’s trailer and went to various places, but he returned to Des Moines on numerous occassions.


In Des Moines, Iowa, Joey Jordison, Shawn Crahan, and Mick Thomson approached him asking him to join Slipknot. Corey initially agreed to join one of their practice sessions and ended up singing in front of them. Of the nine members that Slipknot consists of Corey was the sixth member to join the band. At the time Corey felt he could expand more in Slipknot than in Stone Sour and he temporarily quit the band even though they were recording an album with Sean McMahon. Corey performed with Slipknot for the first time on the 22nd August 1997, which according to band members did not go well. He performed without a mask the first time, but for the second show Corey wore a mask that resembles his debut album mask. Corey has recorded with Slipknot since the release of their second demo album which was a self-titled demo used to promote the band to prospective labels and producers. He recorded with Slipknot at Indigo Ranch which is situated in Malibu, California.The band’s debut album Slipknot peaked at number one on the Top Heatseekers Chart, it went Double Platinum in the US and it was included in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Corey began recording for their second studio album “Iowa” in 2001 at Sound City and Sound Image in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California. The album was released on the 28th of August 2001 and peaked at number one on the UK Albums Chart, as well as number 3 on the Billboard 200. While writing for Slipknot’s third album Corey decided to write songs that would not call for an explicit label, after critics stated that Corey relied too much on profanity on Slipknot’s second album. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. All Hope Is Gone was the first Slipknot album to peak at number one on the Billboard 200.

Personal Life

Corey has a daughter called Angeline from a previous relationship, she was born in 1992. On the 17th of September 2002 Corey’s then fiance Scarlett Stone gave birth to their son, Griffin Parker. Corey Taylor and Scarlett Stone got married on the 11th of March 2004. Scarlett took it upon herself to face Corey’s mother about the issue of his father’s absence. She demanded from Corey’s mother all the details about his father. When Corey’s mother finally gave in Scarlett hired a private investigator to find Corey’s father. When Corey and his father finally met on the 28th of March 2005 , the reunion turned out very well. Taylor was overjoyed by the reunion stating that “A whole new chapter in my life has opened”. Although Taylor and his father now have a relationship their paths do not cross often. Corey and Scarlett’s marriage lasted 3 years after which they divorced.

Corey has also had alcohol-abuse problems. His drinking worsened as time went by, eventually it reached a point where he would drink when he got up in the morning up and generally wouldn’t stop until he blacked out. According to Corey the problem began to eat away at his family when he became disinterested in the things happening around him and when he showed no concern for the people in his life. Corey made several suicide attempts, all this culminating to the events that took place on the night of the 14th of November 2003. On this night Corey was attempting to jump off the 8 story balcony of Hyyat on Sunset Boulevard. Corey first said that his wife at the time (Scarlett Stone) stopped him from jumping. In an interview with Kerrang! Radio Corey recanted that statement and stated that it was actually his friend Thom Hazaert who stopped him from jumping. Scarlett gave Corey an ultimatum stating that he would either have to sober up or she would annul their marriage.

Stone Sour

Corey and electric guitarist for Stone Sour Josh Rand contacted Jim Root (Slipknot’s guitarist) and Shawn Economaki (Stone Sour’s original bassist) to start writing for their debut album. Original drummer Joel Ekman rejoined the band as well. Corey returned to Stone Sour five years after he left the band and they recorded their debut album Stone Sour in 2002. Stone Sour decided to  record at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Their self-titled debut album was released on the 27th of August 2002 and it made its debut at number 46 on the Billboard 200. Before Stone Sour started recording “Come What(ever) May” in 2006, Corey was sober. Their second album “Come What(ever) May” which was released on the 1st of August 2006  debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. During the recording of their third album drummer Joel Ekman left the band due to personal reasons and was replaced by Roy Mayorga. On the 7th of September 2010 the group released their third album Audio Secrecy. The House of Gold and Bones is a concept double album. The first part was released in October 2012 and the second part will be released in April 2013. There are 24 songs in total, 12 on each disc.

Other Work

On the 3rd of August 2009 Corey co-hosted the Kerrang! Awards alongside Scott Ian of Anthrax.  On the 13th of November 2009 Corey married Stephanie Luby. The following year the duo co-hosted the awards again. Corey collected the K! Services to Metal Award on behalf of Paul Gray who died as a result of an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl. Paul Gray had also shown signs of significant heart disease. In early September of 2010 Corey announced that his book Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good would be released on the 12th of July 2011 through Da Capo Press.

Corey has appeared as a guest musician on albums by Soulfly, Apocalyptica and Damageplan. He also made an appearance on some of Steel Panther’s singles; “Death to All but Metal”, “Eyes of a Panther”, and “Asian Hooker”. In 2006 Corey founded Great Big Mouth Records. He has produced two albums Face Cage’s self-titled album and Walls of Jericho’s Redemption. On the 13th of January 2009 Corey confirmed that he was working on a solo album, but the material didn’t suit any of the main bands that he is a member of. He describes his solo work as a cross between Foo Fighters, Johnny Cash and Social Distortion. Corey says that there is a country background that comes built-in with living in Iowa. Corey and the Junk Beer Kidnap Band performed their first show on the 24th April 2009 at the People’s Court in Des Moines, Iowa, marking Taylor’s first official solo show. Corey has performed with Dum Fux a punk rock, hair metal cover band and Audacious P which is primarily a Tenacious D cover band.

Corey tried out for the place of lead singer for Velvet Revolver, but it didn’t work out. Corey collaborated with Aaron Lewis in July of 2011 while promoting his solo album. Corey also collaborated with Blink-182’s drummer Travis Barker on Barker’s solo album.

My blog post was slightly delayed due to the amount of research I had to do to write the article. I haven’t really listened to Stone Sour prior to this post, but I absolutely love “Do Me A Favor” from the upcoming album “House of Gold & Bones – Part 2”. I couldn’t stop listening to it! I love Stone Sour’s contrast in their songs, the heavy verses which are interchanged with melodic choruses.

“House of Gold & Bones – Part 2” will be released on the 9th of April 2013.

Corey Taylor is a complex individual with contrasting demeanor. He appears calm and collected during interviews and acoustic performances. He shows his wild side when he is performing with Slipknot and his rebellion when performing with Stone Sour. Corey has a baritone voice (classical male singing voice whose range lies between the bass and tenor voice types). His voice is extremely versatile, his voice can change from a soft melodic tone to a deep growl within seconds. He has used his voice in many ways through melodic singing, growling, screaming, shouting and rapping. Two characteristics Corey has that stands out to me is his diversity and his work ethic. He is always involved in music in one way or another and coming up with fresh ideas.

This was Corey’s thoughts about the Grammy Awards and I have to agree with him. Rock/Metal Awards should be televised, its not like Rock is a niche market like Folk or World music. The Rock music genre should be promoted properly, because millions of people buy rock albums. The rock genre should have more categories too, you can’t throw all of them in one basket, there are various sub-genres within rock music.
You can follow Corey Taylor on Twitter  here:

You can Follow Stone Sour on Twitter here:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinASource:

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinA

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWingsSource:

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWings

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDiseaseSource:

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDisease

30 Seconds To Mars’s New Short Film #MARSisComing

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The Echelon are basically salivating in anticipation of 30 Seconds To Mars‘s new music video and so am I. I have to say the sneak previews Jared has been sharing on Instagram and on his Twitter page is already looking quite impressive. It seems like a lot of colour will be used in the video, but I can’t help but wonder how these seemingly unrelated images will be merged into one film. My favourite shot is that of McKayla Maroney sailing through the air. McKayla Maroney is a gymnast, she is the 2012 Olympic Champion & Vault Silver medalist as well as the 2011 World Champion & Vault Gold medalist.

I can’t wait, hold on to your seats people, because Bart Cubbins has been released!

The Rock Riff does not own any of these images.

All images sourced from

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Rock Regards,

Lauren K

South African Metalhead Association

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Check out the South African Metalhead Association!

Metalheads Unite!

Show their Facebook page some love.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Halestorm won a Grammy!

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Congratulations to Halestorm for winning the Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal performance for Love Bites (So Do I). I’m so proud of them, “Here’s To Us”!!

A great moment for rock music!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Sinner’s Creed: A Memoir

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As promised on our Facebook page The Rock Riff will now be reviewing Scott Stapp‘s uncensored Memoir.

I have looked forward to reading this book since I heard about it more or less a year before its release date. I had a few questions on my mind on Creed- and Scott Stapp’s history, I was eager to have those questions answered by reading this memoir.

Was/is Creed a Christian band?

Were the relationships within the band completely restored after their reunion in 2009?

Has Scott Stapp fully recovered from his addiction (s)?

Will Scott Stapp admit to his shortcomings in this book?

Did any violence occur when the police arrested Scott Stapp at his home in 2006?

Did Scott Stapp try to commit suicide?

All of my questions were about answered by the time I finished reading the book.

I will share a few highlights from the first part of the book and after that I will give my personal opinion on the book.

The book starts by recounting the incident at The Delano Hotel, Miami Beach on the 18th of November 2006 when Scott fell 20 feet and landed on his forehead. It is amazing that he survived that fall, even the doctors couldn’t believe it.

From an early age Scott was forced to be the man of the house after his biological father, a marine left his mom and two sisters behind. He took the responsibility upon himself to be the family’s protector/guardian.

Religion played an increasingly important role in Scott’s early childhood and later in his young adulthood. Scott’s grandfather was a descendant of Indian heritage and Scott loved spending time with his grandfather at the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina, where his grandfather owned land and a cabin. His grandfather had a different approach to Christianity, he saw God in nature and his surroundings.

At the age of nine Steve Stapp entered his life, Scott loved the man who promised to protect and look after his mother and sisters. Steve Stapp married Scott’s mother and legally adopted Scott. Anthony Scott Flippen was renamed Scott Alan Stapp. He perceived the adoption as a way to start over.

When Steve became an official member of the family, he became the head of the household and he made sure everyone knew it. Steve wanted Scott to improve his behaviour at school and to bring home nothing less than an A in every subject. Fear started to rule every aspect of Scott’s life, fear of disappointing God and his stepfather Steve.

Scott was introduced to rock music by a friend who brought over a record of Def Leppard. In the middle of listening to the song “Rock of Ages” Scott’s dad burst in his bedroom door, his dad told his friend to go home. Steve told Scott that Rock ‘n Roll was not music, it was an instrument of Satan. He forbid Scott to ever listen to any music where an electric guitar is played. Scott promised never to listen to rock music again, but that wasn’t enough, so Steve decided to give him a beating to make sure he stopped listening to rock music.

One Saturday Scott spent an evening at a friend’s house and was told to be home at 6 a.m. the following day so that he could go to church. Scott overslept and received a spanking in full view of his family. After this incident Steve Stapp introduced the children to The Timer. The Timer was set to 5 minutes, the time allotted for Scott to shower and brush his teeth, 6 minutes to get dressed, gather his books and to be seated at the kitchen table. If he wasn’t in his chair when The Timer went off he would receive a beating. After breakfast he had five minutes to wash, dry and put away the breakfast dishes and then two minutes to put on his coat and get to the car. If The Timer went off you would receive a beating with no exceptions.

Scott received beatings every Monday night for the sins he didn’t get caught committing. He wasn’t permitted to date or even go out to watch a movie, so he put all his energy into sports. After a terrible fight during which Steve hit Scott’s mother Scott decided to take his car and escape his household. He went to live with a friend for about two months, until his father started to lure him back home by exploiting his weaknesses. Scott received offers from the Naval Academy, Vanderbilt and the University of Pennsylvania. Steve led Scott to believe that the schools were not offering full scholarships and that he should attend a Christian school instead, which led Scott to attend Lee University.

When Scott arrived at Lee University he realised just how sheltered his life had been. He had never tasted beer, he had never seen/smoked marijuana and he had never kissed a girl before. Scott got expelled for smoking marijuana after he admitted to smoking it to the dean.

Scott decided to attend Tallahassee Community College and planned to transfer to FSU. He met up with Mark Tremonti and they decided to start a band together, a band that will eventually become Creed.

The years in which I listened to Creed as a teenager, I had heard through the media that Creed was a Christian band. I never understood that statement at all. In my mind a Christian band would sing their praise to God directly through their lyrics. Analysing Creed’s lyrics I interpret their songs as an ongoing struggle with faith, religion, being human and God.

It was unfortunate that they were branded with a Christian label. I find their music to be emotional and spiritual, it is an experience that cannot be replicated. As a listener Creed’s music allows for deeper introspection. It makes me realise how flawed we are and how we will always strive to be better than ourselves. If it wasn’t for the Christian label and being called “uncool”, I think Creed would have been taken more seriously by music critics and music fans alike. Creed delivers heavy melodic rock music and their lyrics have meaning. What more could a fan of rock music ask for?

I found the book really enlightening when it came to the events that shaped Scott Stapp as the man he is today and the events that shaped Creed.

If you are looking for a book that describes the details of all the debauchery that occurred during Creed’s career, you will have to look elsewhere. The book does not glorify any behaviour typically associated with rock stars.

This book taught me a lot about the music industry, people, fame and depression. In my opinion it is of the utmost importance that depression is mentioned throughout the book. It demonstrates the power of the illness and how it can continue to haunt you to the point where you implode/explode. It is a common belief that if someone is depressed they sulk and hide in their room/home until they feel better or receive medication. Depression rears its head from time to time if left untreated, it is the long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or the inability to visualize a happy future. The sufferer is forced to lead a normal life and to pretend to feel normal, even sometimes fooling themselves. Another description of depression is a period of unhappiness or low morale which lasts longer than several weeks and may include self-inflicted injury or suicide.

When Creed reunited in 2009, I found it really strange that it wasn’t being marketed through the social media sites, radio or news websites. Some people probably still don’t know that Creed has reunited. The reason for this is revealed in the book and it just demonstrated to me once more what people will do for money.

Any musician or band that is on the brink of being discovered or has had a taste of fame will do themselves a favour by reading this book. I know it’s not possible to avoid all the pitfalls that you will face during your career, but at least you can say that you entered it with eyes wide open.

Personally I think it was unfair that people/the media was judging Scott for being a Christian or a hypocrite. All Christians have sinned during their lifetime, its part of being human. To hold someone in the public eye to different standards than you do yourself is in itself hypocrisy.

I really admire Scott’s wife Jaclyn’s role in his life and that of her family. Her family seem like sophisticated, educated and loving people.

A great read if you’re interested in learning more about Scott Stapp, Creed or just interested in learning more about humanity.

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Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Source: 21, 2010 - Source: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

(May 21, 2010 – Source: Jason Smith/Getty Images North America)

Slash – Anastasia – iHeartRadio

Slash – Anastasia – iHeartRadio.

Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators do it again!

iHeartRadio has the US Exclusive for Apocalyptic Love’s Anastasia Live Video Premiere.

I had goosebumps the whole way through, ENJOY! \m/

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Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Black Stone Cherry

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Black Stone Cherry - 13 July 2012 by ~ratherloudSource:

Black Stone Cherry – 13 July 2012 by ~ratherloud

Black Stone Cherry is an American rock band that was formed in Edmonton, Kentucky. The band consists of Chris Robertson (lead singer, lead guitar) , Ben Wells (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass guitar, backing vocals) and John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals).

Chris Robertson and Richard Young’s (The Kentucky Headhunters‘s rhythm guitarist) son John Fred Young started to play music together in their early teens and the duo were soon after joined by Lawhon and Wells. Black Stone Cherry officially formed on the 4th of June 2001. The band then took over the practice house which had been used by The Kentucky Headhunters since 1968. They started recording their songs in the practice house. The band then started to perform at clubs in the area and gained a large following of fans from all ages.

The band’s self-titled debut album was released in May 2006. After they finished recording their first album they were invited by Chris Robertson’s former school principle to perform a homecoming gig in the gym of the local middle school. The gig was attended by 1500 people. The band received a royal welcome, as they entered the town the streets were filled with people holding “Welcome Home” signs.

They released the Hell & High Water EP (2006, Digital-only EP) on the 11th of November  2006.

It contained the following tracks:

  1. “Hell & High Water”
  2. “Big City Lights”
  3. “We Are the Kings”

On the 10th  of July 2007 the band released the Rain Wizard EP (2007, Digital-only EP). It contained the following tracks:

  1. “Rain Wizard”
  2. “Drinkin’ Champagne”
  3. “Stop Runnin'”

BSC released their first live album on the 31st of October 2007 which was recorded and released on the same night at the Astoria in London. This album is a limited edition and mint condition albums was on sold on Amazon for £200. (in January 2013) The album was limited to 1000 copies and sold to the crowd after the concert.

On the 19th of August 2008 Black Stone Cherry released their second album titled Folklore and Superstition. Four singles from the album was released, these included; “Blind Man”, “Please Come In”, “Things My Father Said” and “Soulcreek”.

Drummer John Fred Young had this to say about Folklore and Superstition; “There is a mystique with folklore and superstition, we’re intrigued by and interested in history, roots and heritage, and we incorporate that into the band.” With the release of their second album Black Stone Cherry demonstrated their incredible talent for telling stories. “We are taking Southern tradition and giving a taste to the rest of the world,” says bassist/vocalist Jon Lawhon.

Famed rock producer Bob Marlette (Ozzy, Shinedown), accompanied by the band headed to Nashville’s Blackbird Studio. The band used turkey calls, a banjo and a washtub basin among other things while they were creating the album. The band was fearless when it came to experimenting with different sounds. The band travelled extensively during their tour cycle in 2006 in support of their debut album. This experience inspired the band to stretch their creativity like they never had before. Black Stone Cherry is a positive band and they try to write uplifting songs.

Vocalist/guitarist Chris Robertson reflects on the process, saying, “Starting out as a band seven years ago, with high hopes and even bigger dreams, I honestly believe this record shows the experience of our past travels, and gives a hint of the future. It captures all the energy and heart that make up Black Stone Cherry. We took some chances on this album and I believe that our fans will appreciate seeing the other sides of the band that they may or may not have known existed.” – Excerpt taken from

Black Stone Cherry was asked by their female fans to write a song or two specifically taking their female fans into account, so the band decided to dedicate “You”,  a timeless ballad to their female followers.

“Long Sleeves” is told from the viewpoint of a friend who who took part in the battle of Mogadishu which was depicted in the film Black Hawk Down.

“Things My Father Said” was covered by Elvis Blue on the final of South African Idols which took place on the 1st of November 2010. Elvis received 64% of the votes and went on to win Season 6 of South African Idols.

In 2008 the band supported Def Leppard and Whitesnake on their U.K. arena tour. In May 2009 Black Stone Cherry supported Nickelback on their Dark Horse tour, which is the reason I started listening to them in the first place. I decided to listen to a few tracks from BSC and I then went to purchase Folklore and Superstition shortly thereafter.

The band’s third album Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea was released on the 31st of May 2011. The album was produced by Howard Benson (Seether, Halestorm, Three Days Grace) and the first single off of the album was titled “White Trash Millionaire“. The band was nominated for a classic rock award in 2011.

Black Stone Cherry supported Alter Bridge alongside Theory of a Deadman on a tour of Europe from October to November 2011. Cavo co-headlined a tour with Black Stone Cherry in February 2012 with Rains as support. The band also headlined their own sold-out U.K. tour supported by Rival Sons. They opened for Chicken Foot on their American tour in 2012.

Black Stone Cherry is a unique, Southern rock band and their song “Soul Creek” conjures up the feeling of sitting next to a dam/river around a bonfire with your friends sharing stories and occasionally going for a swim. Their music makes me feel part of a culture that I have never experienced. The band shares their folk stories with the listener and the music still manages to have a wide appeal even if you’re not familiar with the content. My favourite songs are “Lonely Train” to which I have air drummed to on numerous occasions :D, “Hell and High Water”, “Blind Man”, “Please Come In”, “Long Sleeves”, “White Trash Millionaire” and “Like I Roll”. The drumming in the song “Lonely Train” is astounding.

Black Stone Cherry is definitely one of the most unique bands I have listened to.

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The following photos were taken by Francesco Tosi Photography whose work I’m a big fan of.

The Rock Riff will be reviewing Sinner’s Creed soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K