Thumping Thursdays

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One day before the weekend arrives I think it is only right that I share some new videos that you can add to your weekend playlist.

Dead by April  – My Heart Is Crushable

Epic lyric video and crushing vocals mixed with some heavy riffs, you’re welcome. 🙂

 

Nickelback – Feed The Machine

A relevant song that is a departure from their traditional sound. The intro builds anticipation and makes way for the song’s strong chorus. I hope Nickelback’s new material is more or less in the same vein as their first single. I can’t wait to hear more.

 

Amaranthe – Boomerang

Amaranthe deliver another one of their deliciously unique songs and a great video to boot. The contrasting vocals are surprising at time, but in a good way. Love the way the video was shot and seeing the director’s vision come to life.

 

 

Twenty One Pilots – Heavydirtysoul

Twenty One Pilots never disappoint and that is definitely true in this case. A nail-biting video that plays more like a movie than a music video. I love watching Josh drum and this video manages to highlight his abilities.

Have a rocking weekend!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

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Top 14 Rock Songs of 2014

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2014 Highlights

2014 Highlights

So it’s that time of the year again where The Rock Riff choose the best rock songs of the year. I really like compiling the list of songs, because it is a nice way of reflecting on the year that has been. Last year I had difficulty choosing the last few entries on the list, but this year there was an abundance of choices. It was difficult to choose only 14 songs from the past year.

The list is as follows:

Number 14: Set Me On Fire – Flyleaf

Flyleaf has received some backlash regarding comparisons between the band’s ex-vocalist (Lacey Sturm) and current vocalist, Kristen May. This track proves that Kristen May is a very talented vocalist and I believe essentially the material is still representative of Flyleaf’s sound. Flyleaf’s latest album “Between The Stars” is a solid offering from the band.

Number 13: Painkiller – Three Days Grace

Another band who has had to replace their lead vocalist is Three Days Grace after Adam Gontier’s departure. No one could ever really replace Adam, but Matt Walst is a pretty decent replacement considering the success the band has experienced thus far. I had a difficult choice to make between “Painkiller” and “I Am Machine”. The band is still delivering hard-hitting material and they have not lost their momentum.

Number 12: Let The Night In – Prime Circle

I will probably never forget the moment that I heard this song live for the first time. It had a great impact on me and it was the opening track of the concert. Prime Circle hails from South Africa and has made a solid mark on the rock industry in their home country the past few years. Their latest album has a fresh feel to it and I think this song is the reason for the overall feel of the album.

Number 11: 1000hp – Godsmack

When Godsmack decides to do anything they go full-out. I really love the pace of this song and it really gets the adrenaline pumping! There are certain types of songs only this band can pull off properly and 1000hp is one of them.

Number 10: Would You Still Be There – Of Mice & Men

I was really pleasantly surprised by this song and video. Personally I’m not a fan of screaming, but this song combined both clean vocals by Aaron Pauley and screaming/unclean vocals by Austin Carlisle to a degree that I could really enjoy the song. I think this song proves that a band can be creative while still retaining credibility within the industry and with their fans.

Number 9: Words As Weapons – Seether

Seether seem to be one of the most consistent rock bands in recent history and they did not disappoint with their latest release “Isolate and Medicate”. Words As Weapons is an artistic take on deceit in our daily lives and it is one of those songs you will be humming along to in your head long after you have listened to it.

Number 8: Drown – Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman has really delivered a solid rock album with the release of “Savages” this year. The album offers a diverse range of songs that really proves that the band is not set in their ways. Production has improved and lyrically the content covers a vast array of topics.

Number 7: Heaven Knows – The Pretty Reckless

With a devil-may-care attitude Taylor Momsen serves up an in-your-face rock song with a chorus to match. Accompanied by a somewhat controversial music video, this band knows how to grab your attention. A stellar performance indeed.

Number 6: Dog on a Leash – Adelitas Way

A hard-hitting, edgy rock song, the first single from the band’s latest album “Stuck”. A visually appealing music video accompanied its release and Rick DeJesus vocals are spot-on as always.

Number 5: Million Miles An Hour – Nickelback

Nickelback has always been masters of storytelling and this song really takes the listener on a trip. 😉 The chord progression, guitars and drums combine to deliver a perfectly brewed rock song.

Number 4: Heart of Fire – Black Veil Brides

Believe it or not, but I only started listening or paying attention to this band this year. I was pleasantly surprised by the songs that I heard. The one that stood out to me, though is “Heart of Fire” the song has a really epic feel to it. The melody and chorus take it to another level. “Heart of Fire” would definitely fit in seamlessly on a movie soundtrack.

Number 3: F.E.A.R – Papa Roach

Papa Roach is back! F.E.A.R (Face Everything And Rise) is one of the singles released from their latest album of the same name. The production on this song is great and it delivers a good message in an aggressive manner which creates a unique contrast between the style of the song and it’s subject. The music video plays like a short film and it is fantastic, check it out below.

Number 2: Open My Eyes – Rival Sons

I had to feature this song, because it really took me by surprise this year. A friend mentioned the band on Facebook and I decided to give them a listen. This song was my favourite and it is a rare song to feature in today’s modern music industry. I really enjoyed listening to a different type of rock song. Scott Holiday’s guitar work is impeccable.

NUMBER 1: Avalon – Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators

When “Avalon” grabs you it doesn’t let go! From Slash’s latest album “World on Fire”, this is one of Myles’s stand-out performances on the album (and that is saying something). The fast-pace of this song is infectious. This song automatically puts you in a great mood…FACT!

Thank you for sharing the countdown with us and may 2015 be an even better year for rock music.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Seether

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Seether- Shaun Morgan by JaredWingate Source: http://fav.me/d6m9oej

Seether- Shaun Morgan
by JaredWingate
Source: http://fav.me/d6m9oej

Seether is a post grunge/alternative metal band hailing from my country of birth, South Africa. They were founded in 1999 in Pretoria. Seether consists of Shaun Morgan (lead guitar, vocals), Dale Stewart (bass guitarist) and John Humphrey (drums).

The band got the chance to be a part of Ozzfest and released an EP before unveiling their full-length debut album (“Disclaimer”) in August of  2002. “Disclaimer” featured the single “Fine Again”. A great deal of pre-production took place in South Africa under the supervision of a Wind-Up representative, it continued in New York before the recording sessions took place in Los Angeles. The band began extensive touring in promotion of Disclaimer in July 2002. They performed alongside the likes of Our Lady Peace into the following year.Initially the band emerged with the name Saron Gas (a name taken from the back of a sound effects CD) and they released their debut album called “Fragile” on Musketeer Records. South Africa’s musical tastes are centered around pop, dance and mainstream music. Despite this fact Fragile found impressive chart success, making US-based record label Wind-Up Records sit up and take notice. They signed the South African band mates who changed their name to Seether. Saron Gas was too similar to the lethal nerve agent sarin gas.

A planned follow-up to their first album was delayed by almost a year when Seether was chosen as the support act for Evanescence’s worldwide tour. During this time a romance started to blossom between lead singer of Seether, Shaun Morgan and lead singer of Evanescence, Amy Lee. The tour ensured Seether’s commercial success, but delayed the band’s return to the recording studio. The band reworked their acoustic ballad “Broken” to an electric ballad with guest vocals by Amy Lee. “Broken” along with a new song entitled “Sold Me” featured on the soundtrack of 2004’s movie “The Punisher”.

An alternate version of the original album entitled Disclaimer II was released on the 15th of June 2004, with some songs remixed and reworked, with an extra eight new tracks (in the US).  The major reason for the reworking of Disclaimer was the popularity that the song “Broken” achieved after its release. Seether viewed the album as an opportunity to re-evaluate their debut’s release (whose mix was, according to the band, sub par) and provided fans with material to serve as a holdover until the band’s proper follow-up album.

The band’s follow-up album “Karma and Effect” was released on the 24th of May 2005.  It is certified gold in the US and Canada. Originally titled Catering to Cowards, the name was changed at the record label’s demand. The album debuted at number 8 on the US Billboard 200 album charts. It spawned three singles; “Remedy”, “Truth” and “The Gift”. “Remedy” reached number 1 on the US Mainstream Rock Charts, Seether’s first number 1 hit.

Seether released an acoustic CD/DVD set, “One Cold Night” on the 11th of July 2006. Shaun Morgan had suffered from a stomach ailment and decided to do an acoustic set instead of cancelling the show. The concert was recorded in Grape Street, Philadelphia. The record label wanted to exclude any obscenities from the album and that explains why “Needles” and “Burrito” do not feature on the album.

Lead guitarist Patrick Callahan‘s departure was announced  on the 16th of June 2006, an explanation was not provided. Patrick apparently didn’t enjoy Seether’s new music.

In August of 2006, Shaun Morgan entered a rehab program for alcoholism, which forced the band to cancel their tour with Staind and Three Days Grace.

The day that Evanescence released their single “Call Me When You’re Sober” on radio, it was announced that Shaun Morgan was entering rehab. Amy Lee confirmed that the song was inspired by her ex-boyfriend and that the song had become somewhat of a chick anthem. The track leaked to radio on the 30th of July 2006, causing several radio stations to play it early without it being released as a single.

Shaun didn’t want to “lower” himself to Lee’s level, therefore he didn’t really want to react to the song, but stated that he was upset that she had said “those” things. Upon the release of Seether’s 2007 album release “Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces”, Shaun knew everyone would be looking for an Amy Lee reference on the album. He was desperate not to have one, but did mention that the song “Breakdown” , he considered a lament and not an angry backlash. He further states that the song isn’t about one person, its more universal, vague and respectful.

“Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces” was originally planned for an August release that was delayed until the 23rd of October 2007 due to the suicide of Shaun’s brother Eugene Welgemoed. The album debuted at number 9 in the Billboard 200 album charts and sold 57,000 copies in its first week. The first single off the album “Fake It” reached number 1 of US Mainstream Rock Charts and Modern Rock Charts,  the song held that spot for at least 9 weeks on both charts. “Rise Above This” was written in memory of Shaun’s brother, Eugene. The last single from the album “Breakdown” won Seether their first South African Music Award in the “Best Rock: English” category. The song won them their first MTV Africa Music Award for “Best Alternative Artist”.

A tour in support of the album lasted for most of the year 2008. Troy McLawhorn previously a member of bands such as Dark New Day, Evanescence, Sevendust and doubleDrive was hired as a touring guitarist on the 15th of February 2008. During the tour Seether shared the stage with bands such as Three Days Grace, 3 Doors Down, Skillet, Breaking Benjamin and Red to name a few. After the tour Troy was named as an official member of the band. A cover of Wham!’s “Careless Whisper” was made available for purchase as a digital or mobile download. The music video for the song was released on the 15th of June 2009 and the song is included as an extra track on the reissue of the album “Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces”.

Seether supported Nickelback during March and April of 2009 and it was confirmed by Dale and Shaun that after the Nickelback tour the band would take the rest of the year off from touring to concentrate on recording new content for their upcoming album. Nevertheless the band made their appearances at select shows and festivals.

The band spent several months recording in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Brendan ‘O Brien. Recording was completed in August and the album went into the mixing process. The album was completed in September and “Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray” was released on the 17th of May 2011. Seether reached their highest place on the US Billboard 200 Chart when the album reached the number 2 slot. Billboard named Seether the No. 1 Active and No. 1 Heritage Rock Artist of 2011. Troy McLawhorn left Seether and returned to Evanescence in March 2012.

Seether played the main stage on the Uproar Festival alongside bands, Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Bullet for my Valentine and Escape the Fate. Seether supported 3 Doors Down on their European tour which started in November and lasted till March the following year.

A compilation album titled “Seether 2002-2013” was released on the 23rd of October 2013. It was released as a double-disc album featuring their greatest hits, unreleased demos, soundtrack songs and 3 all-new tracks including a cover of Veruca Salt’s song “Seether” where the band got their name from. Seether carried out a small, semi-acoustic tour of Europe and South Africa. I had the privilege to attend one of these shows and you can read my review of the concert here:

https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/an-intimate-evening-with-seether-kirstenbosch-gardens-parklife-festival-review/

On the 31st of January 2014, Seether posted a video on their YouTube account in which Shaun Morgan stated that the new album is well underway and recording should be completed within a week’s time from the date the video was recorded. In April 2014 the band posted teasers of the album on apps Snapchat and Instagram. Teasers of two of the songs off the new album was posted on YouTube namely; “Words As Weapons” and “My Disaster”. Later on more song clips were teased on the band’s official Instagram account. In late April 2014, it was announced that the new album titled “Isolate and Medicate” was set to be released on the 1st of July 2014. “Words As Weapons” was the first single to be released on the 1st of May 2014. On the 29th of April 2014, the band’s long-time guitar tech, Bryan Wickmann and former Art Director of Schecter Guitar Research was announced as Seether’s new touring guitarist.

Seether has been present in my life, since I can remember. I remember hearing “Fine Again”, mesmerized by the melancholy nature of the song. I really identified with that song at that stage of my life. After having the privilege to see the band perform in November 2013, I was blown away by Shaun Morgan’s vocals. Its like you can hear his whole life story just by listening to his voice. It doesn’t matter how dark the song is, the band delivers the material with a flair which is unmatched. Seether does not like to conform to anyone’s rules, they play by their own. This is a trait which is admirable considering the power that record labels have at their disposal. Seether has proved what determination, ambition, drive and talent can amount to if you make it count.

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

The band recently released their creative video for their latest single “Words As Weapons”. Watch it below:

While promoting their latest album release “Isolate and Medicate” the band stopped by Loudwire’s studios to perform a few songs. Watch them perform the acoustic version of 2004’s hit “Broken”.

Seether by CatCleopatra Source: http://fav.me/d7or873

Seether by CatCleopatra
Source: http://fav.me/d7or873

Seether by GIVEthemHORNS Source: http://fav.me/d4q0lza

Seether by GIVEthemHORNS
Source: http://fav.me/d4q0lza

Band of the Month – Skillet

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Skillet is a Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996 and the band is based in the USA. The band now consists of husband and wife couple John (Lead Vocals & Bass) and Korey Cooper (Rhythm guitar, keyboard, backing vocals), along with Jen Ledger (drums, vocals) and Seth Morrison (Lead Guitar). Founder John Cooper is the only remaining original member in the band.

Skillet was formed in 1996 by two members John Cooper (former vocalist for Tennessee progressive rock band Seraph) and Ken Steorts, former guitarist for Urgent Cry. The two bands met while touring together, but the bands disbanded soon after, so the pair’s pastor encouraged them to form their own band as a side-project. Both of them came from different styles of rock music, so they named the band Skillet. According to John Cooper the initial reason Skillet was formed, was to do outreach for his church. He thought they would do a couple of outreachactivities and that he would still play in his other band. Trey McClurkin joined the band as a temporary drummer. Skillet was only together for a month before they piqued the interest of major Christian record label ForeFront Records. In 1996 they released a self-titled debut Skillet. It was well-received and the trio continued to write new material while touring through the USA. Apparently the band members still joke among themselves about the band’s name, John still claims that he does not like the name. Skillet recorded the follow-up to their debut album throughout 1997 titled “Hey You, I Love Your Soul” which was released in April of 1998. With the second album the style of the band changed from their first release, abandoning their post-grunge style and changing to a lighter alternative rock. John’s wife Korey was recruited to play the keyboard to lighten John’s live performance duties.

Shortly before the band started recording for their third album, Invincible, Ken left the band to be with his family and he launched the Visible Music College, a modern music ministry college located in Memphis. Kevin Haaland joined the band as the new lead guitarist. Korey Cooper joined the band permanently and played keyboard for the recording of the third album. This caused the third studio album to have a more electronic sound. Soon after the release of Invincible in 2000, Trey McClurkin parted ways with the band and Lori Peters assumed the position of the drummer.

The band released their fourth album and first live album titled “Ardent Worship” in late 2000. The band had little time left between recording and touring, Skillet released “Alien Youth” on the 28th of August 2001, retaining the same style and sound from “Invincible”. It was John Cooper’s first time taking over production duties. Before Alien Youth was released Kevin Haaland left the band and Ben Kasica took over on guitar. The first single the title track was a major hit in the Christian market and allowed Skillet to headline their own shows for the first time.

On the 18th of November 2003, the band’s sixth studio album “Collide” was released by Ardent Records. The album became extremely popular and grabbed the attention of Andy Karp,  the Head of A&R of Lava Records. In 2004 Lava Records, an imprint of “Atlantic Records” bought the rights to Collide. On the 25th of May 2004, Collide was re-released by Lava Records with an added track called “Open Wounds”. The album was nominated for “Best Rock Gospel Album” in 2005. John Cooper cited P.O.D as the inspiration on the band’s musical shift on “Collide”.

Skillet’s seventh studio album “Comatose” was released on the 3rd of October 2006. This was the band’s first album to become gold certified. On the 7th December 2007 the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock or Rap Gospel album. In January 2008, it was announced that Lori Peters will be retiring from the band, as she felt it was time to start a new chapter in her life. She performed with Skillet for the last time on the 31st of December 2007. During the 2007 Christmas season she took time to train Skillet’s new drummer Jen Ledger. On the 21st of October 2008, “Comatose Comes Alive” was released, a CD/DVD combo featuring live recordings of the band’s May 9, 2008 concert in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Skillet announced that they will be entering the studio on the 12th of January 2009. They entered the studio with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson. They added two songs from their new album to their setlist (“Monster” and “Hero”) on the 2nd April 2009 in Evansville, Indiana as part of their “Comatose” tour 2009. Skillet’s eighth album “Awake”, has 12 songs and was released on the 25th of August 2009. It charted at a staggering No 2 on the Billboard 200 selling around 68, 000 units in its first week. “Monster” was released as a single on the 14 July 2009. “Awake” was one of only three rock albums to be certified platinum in 2012, along with the  Black Keys’ El Camino and Mumford & Sons’ Babel. They later released a deluxe version of the album with bonus tracks “Dead Inside”, “Would It Matter” and a radio edit of “Monster”. “Monster” and “Hero” were used many times in the media by the WWE, Football stadiums, TV shows, video games etc. Skillet was nominated for six Dove Awards for the 41st Annual GMA Dove Awards. “Awake” was certified Gold on the 2nd of July 2010.

On the 14th of February 2011, Skillet announced that lead guitarist Ben Kasica would be leaving the band. Up until that point Ben had been part of the band for 10 years. Ben planned to play his last concert with Skillet on the 20th of March. The band announced that they had chosen solo artist Jonathan Salas to be their new lead guitarist, but Salas confirmed via Twitter that he had left the band on the 9th of April. Ben returned and continued touring until a new guitarist had been trained. On the 16th of April Seth Morrison replaced Kasica as the lead guitarist.

Skillet announced the release of Awake and Remixed EP in early March 2011. The remixes were mainly done Korey Cooper and Ben Kasica. The four-song EP was released on the 22nd of March 2011.

“Awake” was nominated and won the “Top Christian Album” Award at the Billboards Music Awards 2011.

On the 21st of June 2011 John Cooper posted a tweet saying that the band had been busy rehearsing new music for the first time and preparing for a new album. The band planned to start recording in January/February 2012, but the band was scheduled to headline the Winter Jam tour. In January 2012, the band announced that they will not be touring for the most of the summer so that they can record the new album.

During an interview with on the 18th of July 2012 with RadioU, John Cooper stated that the band now had written 61 songs and would be heading to the studio in October to record the album with Howard Benson for an early 2013 release.

In an interview on the 26th of January 2013 in Beaumont TX, John Cooper announced that the new album “Rise”, would be coming out in May 2013, but was later scheduled for a 25 June 2013 release. In an interview with Noisecreep, John Cooper stated that the first single and music video “Sick of It” is scheduled to be released late April.  The album debuted at No.4 on the Billboard 200 and No.1 on the Top Rock Chart and Christian album charts selling 60, 000 copies in the US alone during the first week of release. “Rise” received critical acclaim, despite some negative reviews, the general consensus seems to be that the band had improved on their earlier release “Awake”.

Skillet was nominated and won a Dove Award for Rock Song of the Year for their sing “Sick Of It”.

The bands’ fans are humorously and affectionately called “Panheads”.

The band’s main goal is to write songs that speak to people about what they were going through and encourage them. John has always been deeply affected by Christian music and he knew that this would be his calling since he was 15. In an interview with CMCentral John says that the best thing about his job is to write a song which could change somebody’s life.

It’s refreshing to see a Christian band do well, despite the history of rock bands that has been ridiculed for their Christian label in the past. I think the key ingredient to Skillet’s recipe is the way they convey their message and the presentation of their material. Most people who listen to the band’s material for the first time will probably not even realise that they are a Christian inspired band. The listener can take from their music what they need without feeling like they are being preached to.

You can follow Skillet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skilletmusic

You can follow John Cooper on Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnlcooper

You can follow Jen Ledger on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenLedger

You can follow Korey Cooper on Twitter: https://twitter.com/koreycooper

You can follow Seth Morrison on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorrisonSeth

Rock Regards,

Lauren Kruger

Band of the Month – Theory of a Deadman

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Theory of a Deadman originated in Canada, more specifically in Vancouver. The band was formed in 2001. The band’s name originated from a song title with the same name that was featured on their debut album, the song was later renamed “The Last Song“.

The lead singer/guitarist for the band Tyler Connolly slipped a copy of the band’s demo to Chad Kroeger at a post-concert party. Chad Kroeger obviously saw some potential in the band as they were the first act that got signed to Chad Kroeger’s record label 604 Records.  On the band’s demo was the song which would later become the “Invisible Man”. The band’s self-titled debut album was released on the 17th of September 2002. Their music stayed within the grunge genre, but delivered powerful songs like “Make Up Your Mind” and “Nothing Could Come Between Us” both of which was released as singles.

On the 29th of March 2005 the band released their second album “Gasoline”, slowly moving away from their grunge sound by incorporating more pop-and country influence into their music. Four singles from “Gasoline” landed onto the Mainstream Rock Chart and the album cracked the Top 60 of the Billboard album chart. After the release of the album the band toured with Shinedown and No Address. Theory of a Deadman went on a promotional tour in the same year which was headlined by Breaking Benjamin and The Exies.

The band performed the theme song to World Wrestling Entertainment’s No Way Out’s pay-per-view in 2006 a cover version of “Deadly Game” from the WWE Anthology album. The song was released on WWE Wreckless Intent album. They did a cover of “No Chance In Hell” which is Vince McMahon‘s theme song, the song was released on WWE The Music Vol. 8. on the 25th of March 2008. The band performed the theme song for the 24th Annual WWE Summerslam.

On the 1st of April 2008 Theory of a Deadman released their third studio album Scars & Souvenirs which delivered 8 singles namely “So Happy”, “By The Way”, “Little Smirk“, “Bad Girlfriend”, “All or Nothing”, “Hate My Life”, “Not Meant to Be” and “Wait for Me”. “By The Way” features backing vocals from Daughtry band members Chris Daughtry and Robin Diaz. With this album the band developed their own unique sound a little more with daring lyrics and flashier sound.

Theory of a Deadman attended the Juno Awards in Calgary, Alberta after taking part in a promotional tour across Canada called Journey To The Junos. Theory of a Deadman performed in the 96th Grey Cup halftime show on the 23rd of November 2008. Hinder and Theory of a Deadman supported Mötley Crüe during the fall 2008 /winter 2009 tour as well as Crüe Fest 2.

On the 9th of April 2009 Scars and Souvenirs was certified Gold by the RIAA with 500, 000 copies sold in the US alone.

In late 2010 the band announced that they were busy recording their fourth studio album which was scheduled for a mid-2011 release date. Tyler Connolly later confirmed that the album titled “The Truth Is… would be released on the 12th of July 2011. The first single, “Lowlife” was released on the 17th of May 2011. Musically not too much has changed on their fourth album, but the band had an epiphany when it came to songwriting. The band had more confidence and Tyler was willing to be more open and honest about his feelings than ever before. Tyler thought it would be fun to write a song about a Lowlife, because their fans aren’t people wearing fancy clothing or driving around in the latest cars. Their fans are regular people who like to have a good time and listening to rock music.

In 2011 Theory of a Deadman co-headlined the second annual Carnival of Madness tour with Alter Bridge. The supporting bands were Black Stone Cherry, Adelitas Way and Emphatic.

The band contributed a song called “Head Above Water” to the Transformers:Dark of the Moon which was released on the 14th of June 2011. The band’s record label Roadrunner Records made a free download of the song “Drag Me To Hell”  available on their website on the 16th of June 2011.

The band consists of Tyler Connolly [Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar], David Brenner [Rhythm Guitar], Dean Back [Bass], Joey Dandeneau [Drums].

I’m a fan of Theory of a Deadman’s music, because they are realistic about their goals. They don’t expect to change the world with their music, they just want their fans to love, laugh, cry and share their passion for music along with them. The band compose enjoyable, catchy and honest songs/lyrics which is refreshingly different in today’s music landscape.

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

You can follow Dean Back on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/TheoryDean

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Theory Of A Deadman Dave Brennerby ~ChibiStalker16 Source:http://chibistalker16.deviantart.com/art/Theory-Of-A-Deadman-Dave-Brenner-316356665

Theory Of A Deadman Dave Brennerby ~ChibiStalker16
Source:http://chibistalker16.deviantart.com/art/Theory-Of-A-Deadman-Dave-Brenner-316356665

Band of the Month – Black Stone Cherry

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Black Stone Cherry - 13 July 2012 by ~ratherloudSource: http://ratherloud.deviantart.com/art/Black-Stone-Cherry-13-July-2012-315726889

Black Stone Cherry – 13 July 2012 by ~ratherloud
Source: http://ratherloud.deviantart.com/art/Black-Stone-Cherry-13-July-2012-315726889

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 http://www.blackstonecherry.com

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.

You can follow Black Stone Cherry on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlkStoneCherry

Like the Black Stone Cherry on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=h_chr#!/officialblackstonecherry?fref=ts

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

http://francescotosi.altervista.org/frames.html

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

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Frontman of the Week – Gavin Rossdale

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Early life and career

Gavin McGregor Rossdale born on the 30th of October 1965 is the lead singer and guitarist for the British rock band Bush.

Gavin was born in Killburn, London, England to mother Lucy Stephen who was of Scottish descent and father Douglas Rossdale who was a doctor of Russian Jewish descent. When Gavin was 11 years old his parents got divorced and he was raised primarily by his father and aunt. Lucy Stephen was later remarried and she moved to Tampa, Florida. He has a younger sister Soraya and an older sister Lorraine who had a daughter called Jade.

Gavin Rossdale had a brief modelling stint with his then good friend Marilyn. Gavin’s sister Lorraine had a boyfriend who was in a band called The Nobodyz and he taught Gavin how to play bass guitar, but Gavin later switched to playing rhythm guitar.

At the age of 17 Gavin had left Westminster High School and started playing semi-professional football until he was sidelined by an injury. He decided to form a band called Midnight formerly known as Little Dukes. Midnight produced a few singles and a bunch of publicity photos. In 1991 Gavin decided to move to Los Angeles, lived where he could and took whatever part-time jobs that were available at the time. One of these part-time jobs was as a production assistant on video shoots. After 6 months he spent some time in New York City with his friend Bill MacAdam, before he returned to England motivated and inspired to start a new band. He met up with Scottie Mac whom he had met in LA around this time. In 1992 Gavin formed Future Primitive whose original line-up (previously known as The Diceheads) included screenwriter Sacha Gervasi who decided to leave the band in order to pursue a film-making career.In the summer of 1994 the band changed its name to Bush and released a promo called Sixteen Stone.

Bush

Gavin became the lead singer/songwriter for the post-grunge British rock band Bush. Their first album Sixteen Stone was released in 1994 and it was a huge commercial success. Bush experienced almost overnight success from playing small pubs in London to headlining festivals in the US which was a result of their non-stop touring. Some critics labelled Bush as an inferior incarnation of bands such as Nirvana and the Pixies, this criticism followed them throughout their career. Rossdale’s voice and lyrics was termed by some to be an imitation of Nirvana’s lead singer Kurt Cobain. The band reached Superstar status in the US, but failed to make an impact in the UK, mainly due to the UK’s Pop dominated charts. The exception came in the form of their single “Swallowed” which reached #7 in the UK. Bush faced some challenges when they changed record labels, changed management and added to that an extended hiatus. Eventually all these obstacles caused the band to split in 2002.

Bush’s albums up to this point in their career include Razorblade Suitcase, Deconstructed, The Science of Things and Golden State. None of the aforementioned albums matched the sale success of their debut album.

Post-Bush Era

After Bush had been on hiatus for two years Gavin Rossdale formed Institute in 2004. Their first album “Distort Yourself” was released on the 13th of September 2005 and enjoyed moderate success. The single “Bullet-proof skin” was used in the movie Stealth. Bullet-proof skin is still one of my favourite rock songs, I discovered the song while watching a DVD compilation which features numerous rock music videos. I listened/watched the video constantly and I still love it.

You can watch the video here:

Gavin was featured on the soundtrack of Sony Pictures’ 2002 film xXx with a song called “Adrenaline”. This song was the official theme song for WWE’s Unforgiven pay-per-view event in September 2002 and it was also used as was The Undertaker‘s Desire/Tribute theme of that same year. Gavin appeared as a guest for Blue Man Group’s “The Current” and he is featured in its video. The song was used in the ending credits of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

Gavin started to dabble in acting and appeared in Zoolander (2001), The Mayor of Sunset Strip (2003), Little Black Book (2004), and The Game of Their Lives (2005). Gavin played the villian Balthazar in 2005’s Constantine. Next Gavin Rossdale landed a role in How To Rob A Bank (2007) alongside Nick Stahl and Erika Christensen. Additionally Gavin appeared on the TV show Criminal Minds and he appeared on the in the 8th episode of Season 5 of Burn Notice.

In that same year Gavin Rossdale announced on his website that he is working on new music, a solo album to be more specific. He was satisfied with the sound of the album stating that he went back to his roots from Bush. Rossdale’s single “Can’t Stop The World”on which his wife Gwen Stefani sings the background vocals became the theme song for Fox’s TV program Drive.

In 2007, for the album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur he covered John Lennon’s “Mind Games”. Later in the same year Gavin finished recording his first solo album called Wanderlust and it was released on the 3rd of June 2008. The 1st single off of the album “Love Remains The Same” was released on the 1st of April 2008 and it entered the Billboard Hot 100 at Number 76, rising to 27 in October 2008, giving Gavin his first Top 40 hit since the days when he fronted the post-grunge band Bush. Gavin also provided the vocals for Apocalyptica’s killer song called “End of Me” which is the first single off of their album 7th Symphony.

The Return of Bush

On the 21st of June 2010 it was announced that Bush would be returning. Founding members Nigel Pulsford and Dave Parsons both decided not to rejoin the band. Pulsford and Parsons were replaced by Chris Traynor and Corey Britz respectively. Bush released The Sea of Memories on the 13th of September 2011. The Sea of Memories managed to peak at No. 18 on the Billboard Top 200. The first single off of the album, “The Sound of Winter” was released in July 2011 and reached number one on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

Gavin co-wrote two songs for The Pretty Reckless‘s album Light Me Up. The songs are called “Fix Me” and “You”. Bush joined The Pretty Reckless on their world tour for a few dates.

Their song “Into The Blue” is featured on The Avengers soundtrack album released on May 1, 2012. They toured with Nickelback on their Here and Now tour.

I was extremely surprised when Bush made a comeback, especially after such a long seperation, but I’m glad they decided to get back to performing and creating rock music.

Personal life

In 1995 Gavin met Gwen Stefani the fearless lead singer of the punk band No Doubt. The pair met when Bush and No Doubt were on tour together. The couple married in 2002. In 2005 on a radio show called Loveline, Gavin stated that he and Gwen prefer to keep their relationship private and out of the media. Gavin had a choatic childhood and  he wanted to provide stability for his family.

On the 26th of May 2006 the Rossdale family gained a new member in the form of a son Kingston James McGregor Rossdale. On the 21st of Augst 2008 the Rossdale celebrated the arrival of another baby boy called  Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale.

In 2004 a paternity test revelaed that Gavin was the father of Pearl Lowe’s daughter, Daisy Lowe who was born in 1989. Gavin and Pearl had a brief releationship and Gavin was Daisy’s godfather. It was reported that Gavin had cut all ties with Pearl and his teenage daughter, but in 2009 numerous websites posted photos of Daisy walking with Kingston in London. Both Daisy and Gavin have said in interviews that their relationship is good and that they share a friendship.

Gavin and Gwen have homes in Primrose Hill, London and California. Gavin is an avid tennis player and a regular on the Californian celebrity tennis circuit. Gavin and Gwen are good friends with Lindsey Davenport and Roger Federer. The couple has been spotted at numerous tennis tournaments supporting Roger Federer.

Gavin has a strong and smooth voice that has the ability to stand the test of time. I admire Gavin’s dedication to his family and his determination when it comes to his music career.

You can follow Gavin Rossdale on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GavinRossdale

You can follow Bush on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bushofficial

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

gavin_rossdale__the_contortionist_by_runninghair-d57j4r4

Gavin Rossdale: the Contortionist by ~RunningHair on deviantArt
Source:http://runninghair.deviantart.com/art/Gavin-Rossdale-the-Contortionist-314980816

Gavin_by_sharonmmm

Gavin by ~sharonmmm on deviantArt
Source:http://sharonmmm.deviantart.com/art/Gavin-98324279