The 13 Best Rock Songs Of 2013

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Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

Photograph owned and taken by Richard Booth

The past year has been great for hard rock music and as a hard rock music lover, I will like to share my Top 13 best hard rock songs of 2013. Thank you for supporting The Rock Riff this past year and I hope we will share many more years together. My list will start at Number 13 and lead up to my Number 1 song of 2013.

13. Love Sick Rock ‘n Roll – Taxi Violence

I had the pleasure of seeing South African band Taxi Violence perform at Kirstenbosch this year supporting Seether on their semi-acoustic SA tour. I love the pureness and the groove of the song, it’s really refreshing.

 

12. Here’s To Us – Halestorm

Halestorm’s crowd-favourite, hard rock anthem comes in at Number 12, the band has had a bumper year with a promising future. They kicked off the year with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performed at the Bandit Rock Awards, Lzzy Hale sang a duet with David Draiman on Device’s cover of “Close My Eyes Forever”. They supported Alter Bridge on their UK and European tour, the highlight of Halestorm’s year was winning a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Category.

 

11. Never Never – Korn

From their latest album The Paradigm Shift comes ” Never Never” a song about relationships and the feelings we as people experience when we have been hurt by loved ones. The video for this song was one of my favourite music videos of the year.

 

10. Adrenalize Me – In This Moment

The provocative and sexy single from In This Moment comes in at number 10. The dark, gritty guitars combined with Maria’s powerful vocals topped with a great chorus is a great combination. the music video for this song is creepy, sexy and very entertaining.

 

9. Live It Up – Airbourne

Everyone’s favourite Ozzie rockers delivered an adrenaline pumping track sure to tantalise and entertain their audience at any of their live shows. The band never cease to deliver some head-banging tracks and “Live It Up” was no exception.

 

8. Going To Hell – The Pretty Reckless

The Pretty Reckless returned in a big way last year after Hurricane Sandy destroyed their studio mid-recording, wiped out the majority of the band’s gear as well as a slew of demos and near-completed recordings for their new album. They had to rebuild, this song addresses the tragedy and how the band struggled to regain their footing.

 

7. Slow Suicide – Scott Stapp

Scott Stapp’s solo career continued in 2013 when he released his second solo album “Proof Of Life” on the 5th of November 2013. After reading Scott Stapp’s 2012 Memoir Sinner’s Creed, the listener understands the song and music video so much better. I really admire Scott for using his own life and experiences as a method of educating others who face the same challenges. The music video for the song depicts time periods in his own life and how he was saved by music and his family. It’s a powerful song and it has a powerful message to convey.

 

6. Conquistador – Thirty Seconds To Mars

An upbeat song of defiance and courage with an infectious beat underlined by the chill-inducing backing vocals of Knights of the White Shadow. Thirty Seconds To Mars are an innovative band and this song just seems to verify that. Despite not being released as a single the song has been featured in the “Become Immortal” trailer for the video game,WWE 2K14 & Need For Speed Rivals.

 

5. Vilify – Device

2013 saw the debut of a new industrial metal band named Device, fronted by David Draiman of Disturbed. “Vilify” was the first single released off of their self-titled album. The powerful and potent single was a great introduction to the album. The music video features David Draiman’s wife Lena as the android/robotic figure.

 

4. Adrenaline – Shinedown

Shinedown released Adrenaline as a single off of their 2012 album “Amaryllis” in 2013. The title for the song is self-explanatory and it is a straight-up hard rock song. Powerful, pounding drums and roaring guitars dominate the song and it does not disappoint.

 

3. Do Me A Favor – Stone Sour

Stone Sour released “Do Me a Favor” as a single on February 12th, 2013. The first time I heard the song I was hooked. I listened to it about 5 – 10 times the same night I heard it. It’s an aggressive song, but it has a really fantastic chorus which creates a nice contrast. “Do Me A Favor” comes from “House of Gold and Bones – Part 2”.

 

2. Hail To The King – Avenged Sevenfold

Avenged Sevenfold released their sixth studio album Hail To The King on the 27th of August 2013. The title track and lead single off the album was released on the 15th of July 2013. The song has , in my opinion, one of the best intro’s I have ever heard, combining the guitars and drums in a sinister way. M.Shadows enters the song 1 minute and 10 seconds into it, with some powerful and threatening lyrics. The song has a unique dynamic and takes the listener on a medieval journey. The music video is one of the best videos I have seen this year. All in all a fantastic delivery from A7X. Enjoy!

NUMBER 1 : Addicted To Pain – Alter Bridge

I suppose it’s no secret that I’m a HUGE Myles Kennedy/Alter Bridge fan, so this might not surprise dedicated The Rock Riff readers. Although I’m well aware that this might make me seem biased, but I’m sure that almost everyone will agree that the Number 1 spot is well-deserved. Addicted To Pain gets in your face and doesn’t let up for 1 second. A fast-paced, aggressive song heightened by Myles Kennedy’s vocals. The song is about a person who is being used in a relationship and is too blind to realise it. The song is written from the perspective of the “witness” /friend who can see what is happening but has no power to stop it. Alter Bridge made a triumphant return from their 2010 album ABIII with the release of “Fortress”. They will continue their tour in support of “Fortress” in  2014, which will include Sweden, Japan, UK, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and the US.

Fortress has received critical acclaim. It currently holds a score of 81 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic, indicating ‘universal acclaim'” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Thank you for reading and supporting The Rock Riff in 2013, I hope 2014 will be even better!

Regards,

Lauren K

30 Seconds To Mars debut Do or Die Video

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I was awestruck when I saw that 30 Seconds To Mars released the official video for Do or Die, it took me by complete surprise. I can honestly say that I felt quite emotional when I watched the video, because I can identify with every member of The Echelon. I could share their pain and their joy. The band has really cultivated and nurtured a truly unique culture which would be difficult to recreate for any other band. The Echelon is a special breed of family that are tied by a unique bond that renders distance irrelevant. The video is the band’s way of saying thank you to their extended family for their support and what a treat it is (especially seeing a half-naked Jared Leto running through the woods 😉 ) No one can edit a video quite like Bartholomew Cubbins and his team. Its a must-see for everyone who loves their music and all that they stand for. Long live The Echelon!

I leave you with a few screenshots of the video.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Screenshot from the official video for "Do or Die"

Screenshot from the official video for “Do or Die”

Thirty Seconds To Mars Unleash “Conquistador”

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Thirty Seconds To Mars have unleashed the lyric video for a new song from their upcoming album called “Conquistador”. The guitars on the track is really impressive and Jared’s voice gives me the chills while Shannon provides the base for the track with his energetic drum beats. This song has really made me even more excited for Love+Lust+Faith & Dreams which will be released on the 21st of May 2013.

Screenshot from the Short film for Up In The Air.

Screenshot from the Short film for Up In The Air.

The Echelon have already trended #CONQUISTADOR worldwide on Twitter today, so I’m obviously not the only one who is excited! 😀

Conquistadors were soldiers, explorers and adventurers at the service of the Spanish Empire and the Portugese Empire. They colonized much of the world for Spain and Portugal in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Thirty Seconds To Mars debut “Up In The Air” video

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Thirty Seconds To Mars has just released their latest short film for their latest single “Up In The Air“!

A must see!

You can see the video here: http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/thirty_seconds_to_mars_debut_up_in_the_air_video?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=altpress

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Guitarist of the Week – Tomo Miličević

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The Rock Riff has featured 2 of the three members of 30 Seconds To Mars recently and this week its Tomo’s turn, the sometimes underrated, but always quirky and interesting lead guitarist of the band.

Tomislav  “Tomo” Miličević was born on the 3rd of September 1979 in Sarajevo (SRF Yugoslavia), Bosnia to a Croatian family. His first visit to the USA was as a baby and travelled back and forth until his family permanently emigrated to Troy, Michigan when he was about 9 or 10 years old.

When Tomo was a teenager he was hit in the leg by an errant bullet while he was standing in front of his father’s Dunkin Donuts store in Michigan. Tomo wanted to keep the bullet, but the hospital wouldn’t allow it.

By the time Tomo turned 18 his parents Tonka and Damir Miličević had opened a restaurant in Los Angeles. Tomo has a brother named Filip Miličević and a sister called  Ivana Miličević. Ivana was born on the 26th of April 1974 and she worked as a model during her school years. In 1996 she made her film debut in Jerry Maguire as the Former Girlfriend of Tom Cruise’s character. She made a guest appearance in Seinfeld, she played but parts in Vanilla Sky, Love Actually, Head Over Heels, Paycheck, Running Scared and landed a recurring role in the CBS TV series “Love Monkey“.  She appeared in Casino Royale as one of the three Bond Girls. Ivana is currently starring in the TV Series Banshee. Filip Miličević is known in the US as a semi-famous abstract artist and he is a top executive at the AT&T Corporation.

“Tomo’s uncle, Dr. Željko “Bill” Miličević is a virtuoso violinist and orchestra teacher at Farmington High School in Farmington, Michigan.” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Tomo attended Athens High School in Troy, Michigan and he is a certified executive and pastry chef. Tomo spent two years in culinary school. Tomo married his longtime girlfriend Vicki Bosanko, in Crete, Greece on July 4, 2011.

Tomo practiced to become a concert violinist from the ages of 3 to 19 years of age. He started writing his own music at the age of 17. Tomo started to discover heavy metal and asked his dad to help him make a guitar, the guitar they made was used to record the song “A Modern Myth” one of the songs from 30 Seconds To Mars’ second album “A Beautiful Lie“. After graduating from culinary school Tomo decided to sell his musical instruments and to leave the music industry for good, that was until Shannon Leto told him about the auditions that 30 Seconds To Mars was hosting. Tomo was already a fan of the group and he decided to audition. Tomo was selected from a group of 200 musicians for his talent and his easygoing personality.

On the 3rd of February 2003 Tomo played alongside Jared Leto, Shannon Leto and Matt Wachter on The Late Late Show With Craig Killborn. Tomo cites some of his influences which includes Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Metallica, The Who, Alice in Chains and Slayer.

Tomo’s favourite song is “Take On Me” by A-Ha. Tomo is left-handed, but plays guitar right-handed.

If you would like to hear 30 Seconds To Mars’s fantastic new song, you can listen to it here:

http://loudwire.com/30-seconds-to-mars-new-album-title-new-single/

30 Seconds to Mars’ ‘Love Lust Faith + Dreams’ will be released on May 21st 2013 and I can’t wait!!

30 Seconds to Mars, ‘Love Lust Faith + Dreams’ Track Listing:

1. ‘Birth’ 2. ‘Conquistador’ 3. ‘Up In The Air’ 4. ‘City Of Angels’ 5. ‘The Race’ 6. ‘End Of All Days’ 7. ‘Pyres Of Varanasi’ 8. ‘Bright Lights’ 9. ‘Do Or Die’ 10. ‘Convergence’ 11. ‘Northern Lights’ 12. ‘Depuis Le Debut’

Follow Tomo on Twitter in his “ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME” style. 😀

You can follow Tomo on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/tomofromearth

You can Subscribe to Tomo’s updates on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TomoFromEarth?fref=ts

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

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 http://instagram.com/jaredleto

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Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Thirty Seconds To Mars

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30 Seconds to Mars

30 Seconds to Mars
Photo by Terry Richardson

There has been quite a bit of buzz going on in the Mars camp lately following a year of anticipation for fans awating their fourth album. I have to say that I have been looking forward to the 4th album myself for quite a while now. Mars never ceases to amaze and I’m sure this time it won’t be any different. Seeing as Jared and Shannon have shaved their “Lincoln” beards off at the end of October I normally see this as a sign that they mean business.

Artifact, 30 Seconds to Mars’s documentary about their legal battle with EMI and the making of their third album This Is War premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on the 14th of September 2012. Artifact won the People’s Choice Award for the documentary (which was a no-brainer in my book). In my opinion the lawsuit shaped the powerful album which This Is War ultimately became. Jared directed this film under his alias Bartholomew Cubbins and he made the film in order to demonstrate the greed and unfair practices that thrives within the music industry and within the systems that some record labels have in place. Keep in mind the position the band was in at the time, they have had a little commercial success with A Beautiful Lie released in 2005 and now they are locked in a battle with multi-billion-dollar conglomerate. That fact alone is quite daunting. Artifact was filmed more or less in 2008-2009.

This is War was recorded in Jared Leto‘s home in a futuristic-looking studio which Jared, Shannon and Tomo financed out of their own pockets. At the time they didn’t have a firm distribution plan or the backing of a label, they were hard at work making a new album which might never have seen the light of day. Thats a pretty spectacular, risky and brave undertaking. The album was uninfluenced and untouched by anyone whose opinion 30 Seconds To Mars didn’t respect. This Is War is a raw and rare piece of art that was created without any creative restrictions, how many albums in the music industry do you know of where this was the case?

This is War was released on the 8th of December 2009 and on the 19th of February 2010 30 Seconds to Mars embarked on their worldwide Into The Wild tour which little known to them would become a record breaking tour. The tour ended on the 7th of December 2011 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Their last show was streamed by making use of VyRT, a high quality livestream that give artists the opportunity to sell digital tickets to live events that are broadcast worldwide in an online social theater. One week after their last concert 30 Seconds To Mars took their rightful place in the Guiness Book of World Records as the Longest Concert Tour by a Rock Band, because they played 309 concerts in two years.

An interesting fact is that NASA plays a song every morning in order to wake up the Curiosity Rover ever since it reached Mars and the song Echelon from 30 Seconds To Mars’s debut album made the Sol6 playlist, which is quite fitting.

On the 1st of November tickets were made available for The Mars Laboratory Part II event on VyRT which will take place on the 1st of December 2012. The event will include an acoustic set, new music, Artifact and the live tour film. 30 Seconds to Mars has used VyRT to connect with their fans in a more personal way and to convey more information to them via this medium.Anyone who purchases a VyRT ticket will automatically be entered to win a trip to Los Angeles to watch the event live, which should be pretty mind-blowing for those attending.

I really can’t wait for the live tour film to be released since its been in the pipeline for quite a long time. Jared is truly a great director, because he sees things from a different perspective than most of us do. I’m sure he has a lot of help in order to create what he envisions for a project, but he succeeds in taking the viewer closer to the action that is happening on the screen and draws them in.

I’m quite aware of the fact that there are two other amazing musicians in the band, but I just have to commend Jared Leto on all his great ideas to promote the band. He is always coming up with new ways to engage the audience and to make 30 Seconds to Mars an experience rather than just another band. For example in A Beautiful Lie’s Deluxe Edition the band requested that members of the Echelon send in their names, so that they can be thanked for their continued support. As a result the inside covers of the Deluxe Edition contain a list of the fans’ names. Another example is when the band asked fans to send in photosof themselves of which the band chose 2000 of the best fan photos and released it as the cover for the albums. Celebrities featured on some of the covers are Jared and Shannon Leto‘s mom, Bam Margera, Kat Von D and Conan O’Brien. As a Marketing graduate I can really learn from and appreciate Jared’s innovative ideas and I see him as a pioneer in the field of Marketing. The question has been asked by many an interviewer if 30 Seconds to Mars really care about their fans or if they are only really good at marketing. My answer to that would be why would someone brand himself/herself with a message he/she didn’t believe in? Jared is passionate about his band and his fans therefore he tattooed symbols from each of their albums on his body. I don’t believe anyone will go that far if they didn’t care about the message(s) they were sending, the same goes for Shannon and Tomo.

Yesterday (5th November 2012) it was announced that 30 Seconds to Mars will be playing at the Download Festival in 2013 at Donington Park on the 14th – 16th of June 2013.

Exciting things still to come for Thirty Seconds to Mars, so watch this space!

You can follow 30 Seconds To Mars across various social networks here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thirtysecondstomars

Twitter:https://twitter.com/30Secondstomars

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thirtysecondstomars

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/30secondstomars

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30stm/

I had to add in this funny video Jared and Shannon made which Jared posted on his YouTube channel in July:

Jared Leto

Jared Leto
Photo by Terry Richardson

Jared and Shannon Leto in the Lab

Jared and Shannon Leto in the Lab
Source: http://30secondstomars.tumblr.com/page/5

30 Seconds To Mars

30 Seconds To Mars
Photo by Terry Richardson

Proud Echelon…

Rock Regards,

Lauren K