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:


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 –
The Jed Foundation –
Bring Change 2 Mind –
International Bipolar Foundation –
Young Minds –


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


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

Frontman of the Week – Jacoby Shaddix

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Jacoby Dakota Shaddix was born on the 28th of July in 1976. He was born in Mariposa, California and his parents divorced when he was just six years old. Jacoby has two younger brothers named Trevor and Bryson.

He attended Vacaville High School where he played clarinet in the school orchestra. Papa Roach was founded in 1993 by Jacoby Shaddix upon meeting drummer Dave Buckner. Jacoby started out playing the drums, but quickly realised that Dave played the instrument much better than he did. Jacoby then decided to play bass, but his bass ended up being stolen. He then became the lead singer for the band. At 17 years of age Jacoby started to work as a dishwasher in order to pay the rent for an apartment he shared with a friend. Later on he became a janitor at a hospital up until 1999 when he started to pursue his true passion which was music and Papa Roach.

On the 19th of July 1997 Jacoby married his high-school sweetheart Kelly Shaddix, with whom he had two sons namely Makaile Cleio Shaddix, born March 24 2002 and Jagger Monroe Shaddix, born September 13 2004. Their relationship was apparently quite rocky and Jacoby has written a few songs about their dysfunctional relationship, namely She Loves Me Not, Time and Time Again, Decompression Period and Walking Dead. Jacoby and Kelly split during the making of their 2012 album The Connection. Jacoby regularly brings his two sons and Kelly on tour with him.

Jacoby has struggled with drug addiction in the past, but his most serious problem was with alcohol. Jacoby used alcohol in order to overcome the emotions that he experienced while missing his family when he was on tour. He would look at pictures of his children and he would medicate himself as a means of suppressing his feelings temporarily. Jacoby has written about his battle with alcohol in the songs “Binge”, “Black Clouds” and “Scars”. At one point Jacoby became a cutter and started experiencing suicidal thoughts, he became aware of the fact that he didn’t want to die and that was when he realised that he needed to get sober.

Jacoby founded the band along with drummer Dave Buckner, bassist Will James and trombonist Ben Luther in 1993/1994. Ben was replaced by Jerry Horton, Will by Toby Esperance and Dave by Tony Palermo leaving Jacoby as the only original member left in the band. The band’s name Papa Roach was derived from Jacoby’s step-grandfather, Howard William Roatch, whose nickname was Papa Roatch. Howard comitted suicide in 2006, because he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The band wrote the song “Roses on my Grave” in memory of him.

Jacoby had a side-project in 2002 with a band called Fight The Sky. Jay Ingram and Wade Khail had been long time fixtures on the Sacramento, California music scene. Khail was a guitar tech for hometown band Papa Roach since 1997 and Ingram was running Ascensive Marketing and Promotions which promoted many Sacramento bands, clubs and music publications. The band signed a record deal with Papa Roach’s self-owned label El Tonal Records.

Jacoby Shaddix hosted the MTV show Scarred, but was forced to stop due to the band’s hectic touring schedule. Scarred featured victims of skateboarding, biking and other extreme sports-related injuries. Jacoby introduced the victims before a clip/renactment of the incident was shown followed by commentry by the victim about the injuries he/she sustained. The show was named after the popular song from Papa Roach “Scars”.

Jacoby Shaddix has numerous tattoos one of the first ones he got when he was 21, with his wife’s name tattooed on his left arm. Born to Rock is tattooed across the top of his chest, he has Love tattooed on his left knuckles and Hate on his right knuckles. On the left side of his chest he has a Queen surrounded by water and on the right is a King surrounded by flames, which represents the good and evil within himself. On his right arm he has a scroll that reads ” Here Lies Jacoby Dakota Shaddix” and underneath it reads “Born with nothing, Die with everything”. His sons’ names are tattooed on his wrist. On his left arm he has a house in flames which references the band’s song “Broken Home” and a coffin which references their song “Harder Than A Coffin Nail”. On the back of his neck, Jacoby and his wife has the Chinese symbol for Love etched on their skin.

Papa Roach are currently back on the road after several stops and starts this year as Jacoby was determining whether vocal surgery would be neccessary. After his surgery he had some time off at home, he reports that his voice is doing great. He was very lucky to go to the right doctor and get the surgery performed by him. Jacoby admits that it was a scary experience, but he is doing well.

Still Swingin’ was named one of the Best 10 Rock Songs for 2012 by Loudwire. Papa Roach is currently sharing the stage with Stone Sour and the tour will move to North America in 2013.

Jacoby Shaddix has the ability to convey pure, raw emotion in his songs. You can hear the passion he has for his music through his lyrics and his voice. I remember when I was in my last year of Primary School that Last Resort was immensely popular among my peers. This is quite strange looking back, because Sum 41 and Blink 182 were really popular during those days where punk rock dominated the airwaves. As a listener (even at that age) you could tell Papa Roach’s sound was edgier and darker than the more popular songs on the radio.

I really love the majority of the songs they released as singles and I look forward to hearing more of their songs in the future.

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Rock Regards,

Lauren K