Best 15 Rock Songs of 2015

 

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The year 2015 had a lot of amazing rock music moments. When I started to compile this list it was easier than it has ever been before!

Please take some time to appreciate the talented musicians featured here:

 

Number 15: In This Moment – “Sex Metal Barbie”

 

In This Moment have their own unique style and niche fan base. The song discusses the prejudice that women in the hard rock/metal music industry face. Maria Brink displays her flair and tenacity in this unique video.

 

Number 14: Apocalyptica – “Cold Blood”

 

Franky Perez joined Apocalyptica in 2014 as a touring member, but I think his voice compliments the band  perfectly. “Cold Blood” delivers a visual feast combined with excellent instrumentalists. A rock performance with class.

 

Number 13: Trivium – “Silence In The Snow”

 

Silence In The Snow hits the ground running and Matt Heafy’s vocal delivery on this track is impeccable not to mention the mesmerizing video the band released.

Number 12: Breaking Benjamin – “Angels Fall”

 

Breaking Benjamin released an enchanting ballad and personally a song that I don’t think many rock fans will tire of.

 

Number 11: We Are Harlot – “Dancing On Nails”

 

In 2015 the metal world lost a talented vocalist and the rock industry gained a fantastic new band “We Are Harlot” with charismatic vocalist Danny Worsnop. I had this video on repeat for weeks after I heard it for the first time. It is a great song to introduce the band to a new fan base and it makes you forget your inhibitions.

 

Number 10: The Fuel – “Revolution”

 

The Fuel got signed to Record Label Suburban Records on the 8th of December 2015. I love discovering new bands that are relatively unknown and delivers quality production and songs I can sink my teeth into. The Fuel is one of those bands and one of my greatest discoveries this year. “Revolution” is a fantastic song and I can’t help lip-syncing every time I hear it!

Check out their Band of the Month feature on The Rock Riff here: https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2015/11/17/band-of-the-month-the-fuel/

 

Number 9: Highly Suspect – “Lydia”

 

This song was nominated for the 58th Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and after the song peaked at Number 4 on the US Mainstream Rock Songs chart I think we all know that this song has made a major impact on 2015. A great rock song that builds anticipation with a unique arrangement and the vocalist’s voice becomes more urgent as the song progresses.

 

 

Number 8: Halestorm – “I Am The Fire”

I had a difficult decision to make when I wanted to make a choice between “Amen” and “I Am The Fire” by Halestorm. The reason I chose “I Am The Fire” is in part due to the escalating notes that Lzzy sings at 2:45 in the video. My jaw just dropped when I first heard that part. We all know that  Lzzy can sing, but she just took it to another level. The band creates a fantastic ebb and flow along with Lzzy’s vocals on this track.

 

Number 7: Bullet For My Valentine – “Venom”

The band’s new material took me by surprise, because I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. A rock song that everyone can relate to about removing toxic people in your life and having no regrets.

 

 

 

Number 6: Nothing More – “Jenny”

This song didn’t strike me at first, but after I learned the story behind the song I was hooked. The song is very personal to lead vocalist Jonny Hawkins about his aunt “Jenny” who has schizophrenia and his sister Jenna who has bipolar disorder. The band partnered with many organisations to bring awareness to people suffering from mental illness. The band partnered with the following organisations:

To Write Love on Her Arms – http://twloha.com
The Jed Foundation – http://www.jedfoundation.org
Bring Change 2 Mind – http://bringchange2mind.org
International Bipolar Foundation – http://www.ibpf.org
Young Minds – http://www.youngminds.org.uk

 

Number 5: Papa Roach – “Gravity” ft Maria Brink

The style and variety in this song is appealing. Jacoby depicts his vulnerability in the song’s lyrics. Having Maria Brink from In This Moment perform on this track adds another dimension to the song and I feel it makes the song more relatable. I’m in love with the music video, it matches the title of the song as it adds a surreal quality to the track.

 

Number 4: Pop Evil – “Footsteps (Go Higher)”

An inspiring and unique offering from Pop Evil for their fifth studio album. I love the pop art/comic book look of the video and it is executed flawlessly. A song that you will be singing for the rest of the day! 😀

 

Number 3: Bring Me The Horizon – “Throne”

An epic stadium-sized rock song. I can just imagine the audience going crazy when this song is being performed live. An empowering, electronic lyrical force that will make you believe the sky’s the limit. Prepare to hit the replay button!

 

Number 2: Disturbed – “The Sound of Silence”

I was flabbergasted when I heard this song for the first time. I couldn’t believe that David Draiman was singing, I have never heard him sing like he did on this track. A cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” was the last cover that I expected Disturbed to do. This song will definitely gain Disturbed a new fan base. I have witnessed friends on Facebook share this song and I know they don’t listen to rock/metal music. The art direction for the music video is superb and the viewers can get ready for some serious goosebumps. Enjoy!

 

NUMBER 1: Shinedown – “Cut The Cord”

I was super excited when Shinedown finally made their come back after two years of near silence from the band. Their fifth album “Threat To Survival” made its arrival on the 18th of September 2015. The lead single from the album “Cut The Cord” released on the 29th of June 2015. The song not surprisingly reached No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. The song has a positive message that encourages people to let go of whatever is holding them back and a reminder to all that we control our own destiny. This song pull no punches and the video reiterates that sentiment. The band’s performance allows the viewer to appreciate their chemistry and makes you feel as if you have stepped into their private rehearsal space.

 

Here is to 2016 and may there be many more quality rock moments!

Rock Regards,

 

Lauren K

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Artistic Rock Music Videos

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Artistic Rock Music Videos

Personally I am addicted to watching music videos, I can spend hours watching music videos from any genre of music. I’m always in search of music videos that impress, shock or inspires the viewer. Quality production and concept for a music video is key. I decided to share my passion with you by compiling a short list of recently released artistic music videos.

Three Days Grace – Human Race

This video depicts a controversial view on the daily struggles of humanity. It is a brutally honest way of depicting natural human behaviour and the different kinds of people that inhabit our planet.

Papa Roach – Gravity featuring Maria Brink

I love the honest introspective lyrics of the song and the dark theme of the video. The emotion in Jacoby and Maria’s performance adds another dimension to the video.

Amaranthe – Digital World

I like the clinical and modern take on this video. It depicts the power of technology and how it can create powerful imagery by simply focusing on a singular subject (the band).

In This Moment – Sex Metal Barbie

I love Maria’s fearlessness as a performer and In This Moment never disappoint when it comes down to visual artistry. Maria directed the video and in my opinion it is a sarcastic look at popular culture and how unrealistic/twisted these images can affect our perception of ourselves.

Apocalyptica – Cold Blood

Apocalyptica always deliver artistic-inspired videos with an unmatched flair. Their videos succeed in combining rock music, dark themes and classic images.

Shinedown – Cut The Cord

SHINEDOWN IS BACK! This video has made every Shinedown fan even more excited for their new album which is rumoured to be released in September. I believe that it takes an extremely talented director to make a performance-based music video entertaining which Darren Doane succeeded in doing. The video is an energetic performance by Shinedown, but it is shot in such a way that you feel part of the performance. I can’t wait to see what else Shinedown has in store for us.

Thank you.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Flyleaf

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Flyleaf is a Christian, American hard rock band which formed in the Belton and Temple, Texas regions in 2002. The band’s origin’s dates back to when Lacey Sturm decided to play dark, hard-edged songs she wrote as a teen to drummer James Culpepper. After playing together for a brief period, they decided to recruit guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann. Former members of a local band who decided to call it quits. In 2002, bassist Pat Seals joined and the band formerly known as Passerby was born.

As Passerby the band released 3 EP’s and played over 100 shows in Texas alone over the span of two years. In 2004, Passerby played a showcase for RCA Records in NYC, RCA passed on the band, but the President of Octone Records was very interested. The band waited for two days at a truck stop in their van anticipating a call from Octone Records. On the 7th of January 2004, the record label announced the band’s arrival to the label on their official website.

In March 2004, Flyleaf travelled to Seattle to record an EP with Rick Parashar after which they toured with Skillet, Staind, 3 Doors Down and Breaking Benjamin to promote their self-titled EP. At the end of June 2004, the band officially changed their name to Flyleaf, due to another band already owning the rights to the name “Passerby”. In October 2004, the EP was released as “Flyleaf”, resulting in their first official single and video for the EP version of “Breathe Today”.

In 2005 the band recorded their first full-length album with Howard Benson. On the 4th of October 2005 the record was released under “Flyleaf”. Appearances on the album include Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction and Ryan White of Resident Hero. The album produced four mainstream singles namely “I’m So Sick”, “Fully Alive”, “All Around Me” and “Sorrow”.

In the summer of 2006, Flyleaf played the main stage at Family Values Tour 2006, later that year the band toured with Disturbed, Stone Sour and Nonpoint on the Music As A Weapon III Tour. An exclusive EP was sold at the tour Music As A Weapon EP which features an acoustic version of “Fully Alive” and three previously unreleased tracks. A portion of the funds made from selling the EP was donated to World Vision.

In 2007, Flyleaf toured with Three Days Grace and through Australia during the Soundwave Festival. The band toured Europe with Stone Sour and Forever Never. Flyleaf headlined the Justice & Mercy tour with Skillet and Dropping Daylight. A second leg of that tour featured Sick Puppies, Kill Hannah and Resident Hero. Flyleaf joined the Family Values tour in 2007.

Flyleaf’s songs  featured in many movies (Resident Evil: Extinction, The Nightmare Before Christmas) and video games (Sims 2, Rock Band, Guitar Hero). On the 30th of October, the band released a digital EP  titled Much Like Falling EP.

On the 26th of April 2008, the band released their fourth video “Sorrow” from their debut album MTV2. The band toured with Seether later that year, but the band had to cancel five shows due to complications concerning Lacey Sturm’s voice.

When the band finished recording their second album , the band had to whittle down 30 songs to only 14. Flyleaf reunited with producer Howard Benson and Chris Lord-Alge mixed the album. The album titled “Memento Mori” was released on the 10th of November 2009. Flyleaf debuted two songs titled “Chasm” and “Circle” when they embarked on a small acoustic tour in Afghanistan for the United States Armed Forces. Their first single “Again” was published on the band’s MySpace page and released on iTunes.

Starting in Seattle, Washington on the 28 September 2009 the band held VIP listening parties throughout the country, by inviting fans to be among the first to hear the band’s new material and to see brand new videos before they aired. The band teamed up with Eventful and fans were given the opportunity to demand that their city be included in the “Road to Memento Mori” using Eventful’s “Demand It!” service. Due to overwhelming demand over 10 events took place, where fans got the chance to see Lacey, Sameer and Jared perform.

Flyleaf’s video for “Beautiful Bride” was shot in early August 2009, by Don Tyler. The video was featured on Yahoo! the day that Memento Mori came out.

Flyleaf toured throughout the United States with Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace from January to March 2010. They embarked on a headlining tour called the “Unite & Fight” tour accompanied by 10 Years and Fair to Midland on the 28th of April 2010 to the 6th of June 2010. The band continued with the second leg of the tour from the 10th of September 2010 to the 23rd of October 2010 with Story of the Year and performed at various festivals the rest of the year.

They released an animated  music video for “Chasm” on the 22nd of September which was created by Giles Timms. At the end of the Unite & Fight tour in November, Lacy collaborated with Apocalyptica on the song/video “Broken Pieces” and partnered with Australian singer Orianthi on her song “Courage” The band released their next single “Arise” from Memento Mori.

On the 15th of November 2010, Lacey announced to her fans that she and her husband Josh are expecting a baby boy in 2011. On the 7th of December 2010, Flyleaf released an EP titled “Remember To Live”.

On the 22nd of January 2011, Jared announced that he and James were busy building a recording studio and preparing to record some demos for the new album. In February 2011, the band started pre-production on their next album at Treelady Studios in Pittsburgh, PA.

On the 1st of June 2012, Flyleaf announced on Twitter that the new allbum and single would be called “New Horizons”. The single premiered on radio on the 1st of August 2012 and was released on iTunes on the 21st of August 2012. On the 4th of September 2012, the band released a video for “New Horizons” on Fuse. Flyleaf released another single entitled “Call You Out” on the 25th of September 2012. On the 22nd of October 2012, the band announced that Lacey Sturm was leaving  and she expressed that with the birth of her son Joshua “Jack” Sturm combined with the recent death of one of the band’s lead audio engineers(Rich Caldwell) that she finally knew the true meaning of “Memento Mori” (an object kept as a reminder of the inevitability of death). “New Horizons” was released on the 30th of October 2012.

In a statement written by Pat Sears, it was announced that Kristen May (formerly of Vedera) was to be Lacey Sturm’s replacement. The band released a new single with Kristen on vocals on the 18th of June 2013 called “Something Better”  featuring P.O.D. front man Sonny Sandoval. A new EP “Who We Are” was released on the 9th of July 2013.

On the 29th of March 2014, Don Gilmore was announced as the producer for their upcoming album. On the 20th of May 2014 it was revealed that the band was now signed to Loud & Proud Records. “Set Me On Fire” , the lead single from the upcoming album “Between The Stars” premiered on the 1st of July through Revolver. The release date for the album is the 16th of September 2014.

I discovered Flyleaf one day when I watched the video for “Broken Pieces”, I was extremely impressed by Lacey’s voice and the video that I decided to listen to her band’s material. I was captivated by Lacey’s voice and presence. Flyleaf has a unique sound and approach to the rock music genre. I was shocked by Lacey’s departure as I’m sure all the band’ s fans were.

I recently watched the band’s latest video for “Set Me On Fire” and I really liked it. I started to read all the comments on the video and was surprised by the fans’ reactions to the new vocalist. Some fans had really nasty comments and I feel that this is very unfair. Lacey was talented, captivating and a true artist. Kristen is not Lacey, but that does not necessarily mean that fans have to automatically reject her. She didn’t cause Lacey to leave the band, she saw a great opportunity to advance in her career. This couldn’t have been an easy decision for Kristen, because she had some big boots to fill. Kristen is charismatic, talented and she deserves a fair chance from Flyleaf’s fans. A vocalist is an important part of a band, but is by no means the only part of a band. After all,  this is the music business, not politics. Keep an open mind and don’t judge too quickly.

 

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/flyleafmusic

You can follow Kristen May on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/iamkristenmay

You can follow Sameer on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/professorbombay

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Hoobastank

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Hoobastank is an American rock band which formed in 1994 in Agoura Hills, California. At the start the line-up consisted of vocalist Doug Robb, guitarist Dan Estrin, drummer Chris Hesse and original bassist Markku Lappalainen. According to Chris, Doug had known Dan for a while before competing against him in a high school battle of the bands competition. Subsequently they decided to form a band by recruiting Markku and Chris to form Hoobastank.

Hoobastank started playing gigs at local venue, Cobalt Cafe along with Incubus and others. The band recorded their first full-length self-released album in 1998 strangely titled They Sure Don’t Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To. The album featured a unique saxophone section headed by Jeremy Wasser.  At this point, Hoobastank had developed a strong reputation in Southern California which attracted interest from Island Records who signed the band in 2000. At the time of signing, the band had already completed a second full-length album titled “Forward” featuring Jeremy Wasser. However Island Records execs felt that the direction they were heading in would sound better without the sax, so Jeremy left the band and the album was delayed. A few tracks were re-recorded for release on the band’s self-titled 2001 release.

Their self-titled album was released in November of 2001. The first single off the album was “Crawling In The Dark” which became a breakthrough hit reaching No 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, Number 3 on the Modern Rock Chart, Number 7 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and Number 1 on an MP3.com download chart in early 2002. The song featured in the 2002 inline skating game, Aggressive Inline on the Xbox, Playstation 2, Playstation and GameCube consoles. The second single “Running Away” was an even bigger hit reaching Number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, Number 2 on the Modern Rock Chart, Number 9 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and Number 3 on the MP3.com download chart. The Hoobastank album went Platinum and reached Number 25 on the Billboard 200 chart and Number 1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. The album received international recognition and the band toured in support of the album through Europe and Asia. The third single from the album “Remember Me” achieved moderate success reaching Number 23 on the Modern Rock Charts. “Losing Grip” is a song which the band created for the soundtrack of the movie The Scorpion King.

In 2003 the band contributed a song named “Right Before Your Eyes” to the Daredevil soundtrack. The band entered the studio with producer Howard Benson. Recording was interrupted for a month when Dan Estrin was seriously injured following a minibike incident in August. Dan had recovered by October and the band performed at the Nokia Unwired Tour with the All-American Rejects and Ozomatli in November.  The band’s name originated when Doug was still very young, his brother was the vice president of BMW Motorcycles in Germany and the street’s name in which he lived was called Hooba Street and before Doug could pronounce it he used to call it Hoobastank. His brother still teases him about it. When the band was trying to come up with a name, it was really difficult to come up with a name that hasn’t already been taken. Someone suggested the name and it stuck.

The band’s second album The Reason was released in December 2003. The single “Same Direction” was available for download on the band’s website. ” Same Direction” reached Number 9 on the US Modern Rock Chart, Number 16 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and Number 16 on the composite World Modern Rock chart (based on the US, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and Australia). A year later the band released a dvd called Let It Out which is a collection of the band’s music videos. The title track was released in the first half of 2004 and it became a massive hit. The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, Number 1 on the US and World Modern Rock Charts. The song was also played on the final episode of Friends. In Canada the song set a new record for the most weeks at Number 1 after it spent 21 weeks at the top of the charts. In the US the album reached Number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. In early 2004, the band’s profile increased when they landed a supporting slot on Linkin Park’s Meteora world tour.

Their third album Every Man For Himself released in May 2006 and debuted at Number 12 on the Billboard chart. Three singles off the album “If I Were You”, “Inside Of You” and “Born To Lead” were released. Hoobastank co-headlined a tour in 2005 with Velvet Revolver. The band received a chilly reception from some audiences and rumours of a feud between Doug and Scott Weiland started to surface.

On the 2nd of June 2008 Doug Robb posted on the band’s temporary website announcing that the recording process of their upcoming album was almost done and that fans could expect a release date within a couple of weeks. The album For(never) was released on the 27th of January 2009. The first single from the album “My Turn” premiered on radio on the 13th of October 2008.

On the 29th of April 2010 a Vanessa Amorosi fan site revelealed details of a collobaration between Hoobastank and the Australian singer, a duet version of The Letter. Later on it was revealed that there was another version of the song between Hoobastank and American-Japanese singer, lyricist, actress and model Anna Tsuchiya. The music video featuring Vanessa Amorosi was shot in Los Angeles at Lacy Street Studio with director Paul Brown. Anna Tsuchiya’s version of the song appears on Hoobastank’s greatest hits album “The Greatest Hits: Don’t Touch My Moustache (Deluxe Edition)“.

The best of album The Greatest Hits: Don’t Touch My Moustache was released on the 5th of August 2010 through Universal Records in Japan. The Deluxe Edition’s tracks were selected from their first four albums by their fans on the band’s official record label website. Hoobastank was the support act for Creed on their 2009 reunion tour. On the 2nd of September 2009, the band announced on Twitter that they were recording an acoustic album. The band covered the song Ghostbusters for Halloween and it was accompanied by a music video on Hoobastank’s Official Youtube Channel. On the 8th of December 2009, the band released the live album Live from the Wiltern exclusively on iTunes. On the 19th of January 2010, Hoobastank released a new song entitled “We Are One” as part of a compilation from Music For Relief in support of the Haiti Earthquake crisis. On the 12th of February 2010, Hoobastank released a new song titled “Never Be Here Again” as part of the Team USA Olympics soundtrack. In May the band announced that they will be performing an acoustic live tour in several places in Japan. They released an acoustic album titled “Is This The Day” on the 4th of August 2010 in Japan. Ending their decade-long connection with Island Records, the band went back to indie status when they released their fifth album on Open E Records.

On the 18th of January 2011 Doug Robb provided the vocals for Apocalyptica’s new single titled “Not Strong Enough”. Another version of the song is available which features Brent Smith from Shinedown on vocals. A music video for the song was released which features Brent Smith. In June 2011, the band went on tour in Iraq for the USO Road Tour, performing for the U.S. military throughout the country.

On the 5th of April 2012 the band announced the tiitle of their new album via Twitter. The album was titled “Fight or Flight” and on the 3rd of May the band revealed the first single “This Is Gonna Hurt”. The album was released on the 11th of September 2012.

I chose to feature Hoobastank this month because I used to listen to their album “The Reason” back when I was in High School and while I was in college. I recently found the album among some other CDs and popped it in the car while my fiance and I went for a drive. It really brought back some great memories and I think all of the songs on that album are really impressive.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Hoobastank

You can follow Doug Robb on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HoobaDoug

You can follow Chris Hesse on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DarkHesse

You can follow Dan Estrin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MrEstrin

You can follow Jesse Charland on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jesseTchar

Musician of the Week – Cello Player Perttu Kivilaakso

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From the very first time that I was exposed to Apocalyptica’s music, Perttu has fascinated me the most. At first it was for obvious reasons (:D), but he is an extremely talented musician.

The musical prodigy Perttu Päivö Kullervo Kivilaakso was born on the 11th of May 1978 in Helsinki, Finland. Like fellow band members Eicca Toppinen and Paavo Lötjönen he attended Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. He started playing the cello when he was only 5 years old after witnessing his father Juhani Kivilaakso perform at the Savonlinna Opera Festival. Perttu joined Apocalyptica in 1994 when he was only 16. When the band started their professional career Perttu decided to concentrate on his studies. He won third place in the Paulo Cello Competition in 1996, and joined the Helsinki Philarmonic Orchestra. Perttu attained a  lifetime chair in the Helsinki Philharmonic orchestra,  where his father, Juhani,is also a cellist. He played alongside his father and many other talented musicians. In 1999 Perttu rejoined the band when they were making preparations to record for the album “Cult” and he replaced Antero Manninen who left the band. He was on indefinite leave while he was touring with Apocalyptica,  but in 2007 he made the decision to leave the Helsinki Philarmonic Orchestra and to concentrate on achieving international success with Apocalyptica.

Perttu was part of the band line-up when their third album “Cult” was released in 2000.

Perttu listened to opera since childhood and he is a true aficionado. His favourite composer is G. Verdi and favourite opera is Il Trovatore.
He loves metal (Amon Amarth, Judas Priest, Immortal, Testament, Slayer, Metallica, Napalm Death, Rammstein). He learned to appreciate rock (U2, Muse), blues (Aretha Franklin) and all sorts of music. Perttu likes to read a lot and his favourite author is JRR Tolkien, but he also likes to read books written by Stephen King and H.Hesse. Perttu’s other hobbies consist of watching horror movies and playing video games. Perttu is a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and he has had 3 tattoos done to prove it. He has Aragorn’s sword tattooed on his left arm, Witch king of Angmar on his right shoulder, Aragorn and Arwen’s kissing scene on his left side. Perttu has composed music for the video game Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne, a few documentaries and he has done some original compositions for Apocalyptica including “Conclusion”, “Farewell” and “Beautiful”.

I find Perttu inspiring because he has dedicated his entire life to perfecting his craft. He has never denied an opportunity where he could gain more knowledge and experience to improve his skills. He has stopped at nothing to follow his dream and I think that is something that few people can attest to.

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.

Slipknot

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: https://twitter.com/CoreyTaylorRock

You can Follow Stone Sour on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/WeAreStoneSour

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinASource:http://atea-cina.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-I-170884081

Stone Sour I taken by ~Atea-cinA
Source:http://atea-cina.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-I-170884081

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWingsSource: http://harlotwings.deviantart.com/art/Corey-Taylor-260003788

Corey Taylor taken by ~HarlotWings
Source: http://harlotwings.deviantart.com/art/Corey-Taylor-260003788

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDiseaseSource: http://thenoisedisease.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-Corey-2-48978211

Stone Sour : Corey 2 taken by ~TheNoiseDisease
Source: http://thenoisedisease.deviantart.com/art/Stone-Sour-Corey-2-48978211

Frontman of the Week – Adam Gontier

Adam Gontier

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Adam Gontier

Adam Gontier in concert [Three Days Grace @ Molson Amphitheatre (Toronto, ON); 7/14/11]
Source: http://burningstars.smugmug.com/Music/2011/Three-Days-Grace-Molson/19064152_kxGsTt#!i=1482860670&k=kZmF7Xg
Burning Stars.net Photo by MJ Murphy

Adam Wade Gontier was born on May 25th 1978 and he is a Canadian songwriter and musician. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the band Three Days Grace. He is known for having a voice range which ranges from high tenor to medium low bass. When I listen to Adam’s voice I noted a few interesting techniques that he uses. He can make his voice sound real gritty and coarse (which is prevalent in rock music) whereas other times his voice sounds more distant and surreal. He conveys a lot of aggression and angst in his songwriting as well as in his voice. In addition to his work with Three Days Grace he has been involved in  collaborations with other bands like Art of Dying and Apocalyptica.

Adam was born in Peterborough, Ontario. In 1995 he moved to Norwood and he attended Norwood District High School where he met fellow bandmates Neil Sanderson and Brad Walst. They formed a band under the name Groundswell, which later evolved into Three Days Grace. Groundswell gained popularity in the local area and a few years later the band decided to move to Toronto to pursue their music career. Adam stated in an interview with George Stroumboulopoulos on October 7th, 2012 that they used to practice in the garage as a 5-piece before they decided to move to Toronto.

Adam named his greatest influences as Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Beatles and Jeff Buckley. When he was between 8 and 12 years old his mom, a jazz piano player, would take him along to her concerts. Adam Gontier has a large selection of tattoos. On his right forearm he has a solid black band and lyrics to his band’s song ‘Never Too Late’ from the album ‘One-X‘ and on his left arm he has a tattoo with special words made out to his grandmother. He has two tattoos on his chest and he has a tattoo of the word ‘grace’ on his knuckles of his right hand in the same font that was used on Jeff Buckley’s album Grace. He has ‘hope’ tattooed on his knuckles of his left hand. In 2007 he added a tribal tattoo to his upper right arm. On his left upper arm he has a tattoo of a picture of his wife. He has a tattoo of a butterfly on his right wrist. Adam received Jeff Buckley’s Grace album from his cousin after which he took it home, he turned off the lights and just laid down on his couch closed his eyes and listened to the record from start to finish. He was blown away by the album and Jeff’s talent, he got up off the couch and just thought that he should quit music, because he can’t top Jeff.

“Gontier, Walst and Sanderson regrouped in 1997 under the name Three Days Grace. In 2003 the band recruited lead guitarist Barry Stock. Since signing to Jive Records, the band has released four albums, Three Days Grace, One-X, Life Starts Now and Transit of Venus” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia, 16th October 2012.

Adam Gontier will be joining singer/songwriter Martin Sexton on his 2012 “Fall Like Rain” tour run providing opening support as a solo artist. In 2011 Adam composed a song ‘Try To Catch Up With The World” for his fans and “I Will Stay”. In 2012 Adam Gontier composed a song called ‘Lost Your Shot’. Outside of Three Days Grace Adam has contributed to vocals on “I Don’t Care” from Apocalyptica’s album Worlds Collide in 2007. He was featured on the track “Raining” by fellow Canadian band Art of Dying on their album Vices and Virtues. Adam’s cousin Cale Gontier is the bassist for Art of Dying. In 2006 Adam was a band member of rock supergroup Big Dirty Band along with Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Jeff Burrows, Ian Thornley and Care Failure. In 2011 Adam Gontier founded Sludge Factory Records and he has signed one local band called Before The Curtain.

In 2005 Adam went in for rehabilitation for his addiction to OxyContin at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto where he wrote many of the songs for One-X including Pain, Animal I Have Become, Over and Over and Gone Forever. He is still sober and a docu-drama about his addiction was released in 2007.

Adam turned to music partly to escape the suffocating confines of a small town, but then his band’s big-time success led the singer into a different psychological trap. After 2 years of touring in support of their debut album Gontier’s drug dependence was so alarming to friends and family that he decided to check himself into a rehab facility. Adam didn’t start taking pain killers because he had any pain, he was introduced to them. After using them a few times Adam started to become dependent on them. Gontier spent about 10 days at (CAMH). This was followed by another 20 days of outpatient visits and 3 months of daily visits to Narcotics Anonymous Meetings. Most of Three Days Grace’s debut album including ‘I Hate Everything About You’ was a response to the limitations of a small-town life, whereas One-X serves as a document for Adam’s battle with addiction.

As a songwriter Adam has always been inclined to write dark content for his songs with underlying themes like despair, hopelessness, anger and aggression. This might stem from the fact that when Adam first picked up a guitar he was influenced by bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam. He uses music as an  outlet for his emotions and although he has written the odd upbeat song, he normally feels the need to write when he is feeling down.

With the release of their latest album Transit of Venus on October 2nd 2012 Adam has been speaking to the media about evolving as band and introducing some electronics to their music which they haven’t done before. This includes synth sounds, piano parts and keyboard parts. Adam says that they approached the recording process for the album differently than they had before. They used to complete the songs and then just get in the studio and start recording whereas now about a quarter of a song was done and they completed it in the studio. Some songs didn’t have any structure/formula before they went into the studio for example the song ‘Give Me A Season’. Their producer Don Gilmore told them to just get out on the floor and see what happens. Adam really wants to use the same method of recording for an album in the future. Three Days Grace actually hired a guy to play all the keyboard and synth parts during the live show which means there will be 5 guys on stage now. They made this decision because they are against using tracks during live shows.

Despite their success Three Days Grace has remained fairly anonymous in public. They really appreciate the fact that they can walk down the street and not be recognized.

All in all I think Adam Gontier is a guy with loads of talent, he has a sensitive soul and all the feelings he kept pent up inside over the years is being released through his music. I look forward to hearing more great music from him and his band.

If you are interested in some Three Days Grace facts go here: http://threedaysgrace.com/3dg-facts

One of my favourite songs from Adam Gontier: Apocalyptica – I Don’t Care ft Adam Gontier

You can follow Three Days Grace on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/threedaysgrace

Thanks for reading!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K