Band of the Month – Disturbed

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Photographer: David Draiman Again by The-Duna-Bug Source:

David Draiman Again
by The-Duna-Bug

Disturbed is an American heavy metal/hard rock band from Chicago, Illinois. The band consists of vocalist David Draiman, bassist John Moyer, guitarist Dan Donegan and drummer Mike Wengren. Former members of the band are vocalist Erich Awalt and bassist Steve Kmak.

The band formed in 1994 originally known as Brawl and was renamed Disturbed after David Draiman was hired as the lead vocalist. Five of the band’s six studio albums consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Before David Draiman joined the band the line-up consisted of vocalist Erich Awalt, guitarist Dan Donegen, drummer Mike Wengren and bassist Steve “Fuzz” Kmak. Dan mentioned on Disturbed’s DVD “Decade of Disturbed” that the band’s name was supposed to be “Crawl”, but they changed it to “Brawl” due to another band who had the same name. Erich Awalt left the band shortly after the recording of the band’s demo tape. The three remaining members decided to advertise for a lead vocalist. The vacancy was advertised in the Illinois Entertainer, a local music publication in Chicago, to which David Draiman responded after auditioning for 20 other vacancies that month. David Draiman was ultimately chosen, because he was the only singer brave enough to attempt releasing original songs with the band. Dan Donegan and Mike Wengren were drawn to Draiman from the start and realized that there was huge potential. David joined the band in 1996 and the band was renamed “Disturbed”. David had considered Disturbed as the name for a band for years, because it described the state of mind that the band was in at the time and they wanted to push the envelope.

Disturbed recorded two three-track demo tapes, the first having demos for “The Game”, “Down With The Sickness” and “Meaning of Life” and the second consisted of demos for “Want”, “Stupify” and “Droppin Plates”. The artwork featured the band’s recently created mascot The Guy and the band eventually signed with Giant Records. In 2000 Disturbed released its debut album “The Sickness” which launched the band into stardom. “The Sickness” peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200 and it has sold over 4 million copies in the US alone since its release.

Steve Kmak decided to use the fire escape outside Disturbed’s rehearsal hall in Chicago, he fell and  broke his ankle right before Disturbed was due to join Marilyn Manson’s European tour in 2001. Marty O’Brien replaced Kmak for the European part of the tour, but Kmak performed with the band on the 11th and 12th of January 2001 at Disturbed’s Chicago show.

In February 2001 the band recorded a cover of the song “Midlife Crisis” for a Faith No More tribute album, but the cover was not used. Thankfully a recorded version of the song appeared on the album called “The Lost Children”.

In September 2001 production for the band’s second studio album began. On the 4th of June 2002 Disturbed released a documentary DVD about the band named M.O.L which depicts the band behind the scenes and life on the road. The DVD includes music videos and live performances. Watching the DVD you realize that life with Disturbed is pretty chaotic, but you can definitely feel their energy coming through during live performances. Disturbed’s second album “Believe” released on the 17th September 2002 and the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The music video for the first single “Prayer” was pulled from most television stations due to perceived similarities with the 11th of September 2001 attacks. David Draiman provided vocals for a song called “Forsaken” which was written and produced by Jonathan Davis (Korn) for the movie soundtrack of Queen of the Damned.

In 2003 Disturbed played Ozzfest and went on their own tour for Music as a Weapon II. Chevelle, Taproot and Unloco toured with the band. After the Music As A Weapon II tour Steve Kmak was fired from the band due to some personal differences and he was replaced by John Moyer, the current bassist for Disturbed. On the same night that John Moyer joined the band they performed two new songs “Hell” and “Monster”, both appeared as B-sides on the band’s third studio album “Ten Thousand Fists”.

Disturbed’s third studio album “Ten Thousand Fists” released on the 20th September 2005. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 238, 000 copies the week following its release, the album was certified platinum and shipped 1 000 000 units in the US on the 5th of January 2006. In support of the album Disturbed toured with 10 years and Ill Niño. The band headlined Ozzfest along with System of a Down, Lacuna Coil, DragonForce, Avenged Sevenfold and Hatebreed. Ten Thousand Fists is the first studio album by Disturbed to feature guitar solos. The reason for this is that the band felt that guitar solos are absent in a lot of modern music and they wanted to bring it back. “Stricken”, ” Land of Confusion” and “Overburdened” all feature guitar solos.

In 2006 the band’s European tour was moved twice due to David Draiman experiencing severe acid re flux, which affected his voice. Later that year David underwent surgery for a deviated septum which affected his voice. After a succesful operation David reduced his alcohol intake while touring. In late 2006 the band headlined another tour called Music As A Weapon III and Nonpoint, Flyleaf and Stone Sour toured with Disturbed. The band completed one leg of the tour and decided to go back to the studio to work on their fourth studio album.

In July 2007, a new track titled “This Moment” appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Transformers. Disturbed mixed their fourth studio album “Indestructible” in Los Angeles in late 2007. “Inside The Fire” the first single off the album was made available on digital distribution services for purchase on the 25th of March 2008. The band toured in the United States during April and May 2008 with Five Finger Death Punch and Art of Dying. The music video for “Inside The Fire” released on the 2nd of May 2008 on the band’s official website. A second single titled “Perfect Insanity” became available on iTunes on the 6th of May 2008 and “Indestructible” could be pre-ordered for the release date on the 3rd of June 2008. The album became the third consecutive number-one debut on the Billboard 200. The band played their first live online concert on the 29th of May 2008 in Las Vegas. Disturbed toured in support of the Mayhem Festival alongside Slipknot, Dragonforce and Mastodon during summer of 2008. The band toured in Australia and New Zealand from August to September 2008. In May 2008 Harmonix , the developers of video game Rock Band reached a deal with Disturbed and Best Buy to offer two tracks from “Indestructible” to play on Rock Band when the game is pre-ordered via Best Buy’s website. Harmonix later released an extra three songs from their fourth album namely “Indestructible”, “Inside The Fire” and “Perfect Insanity”. On the 12th of May 2009 Harmonix released “Stricken” and “Stupify” to the Rock Band music store. On the 30th of September 2008 Disturbed released an iTunes exclusive live album entitled “Live & Destructible”. The band toured Europe where they started in London during October 2008, finishing in Helsinki in November 2008 and later toured the United States during November and December 2008.

“Inside The Fire” was nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best Hard Rock Performance” category. In March 2009, Disturbed released a music video for the single “The Night”. The Music as a Weapon IV tour started in March 2009 and culminated in May 2009. The tour featured Lacuna Coil, Killswitch Engage and Chimaira on the main stage. Disturbed released an impressive second cover version of the band “Faith No More”‘s song “Midlife Crisis” on the album “Covered, A Revolution In Sound” which included bands such as “Mastodon”, “The Used” and “Avenged Sevenfold”.

A reissue of the band’s debut album “The Sickness” was released on the 23rd of March 2010 with more B-side songs “God of the Mind” and “A Welcome Burden”, updated artwork and a remastered track list. “The Sickness” became available on vinyl for the first time.

On the 8th of February 2010, Disturbed entered the studio in Chicago, Illinois to begin recording for their fifth studio album. The band released a superb cover of heavy metal band Judas Priest‘s song “Living After Midnight” for the Metal Hammer Presents… Tribute to British Steel album. The band finished recording the album “Asylum” and planned to start mixing it in Los Angeles, California. The self-produced album “Asylum” was released on the 31st of August 2010. On the 9th of July 2010 the official track list became available on the band’s official website. Asylum was the fourth consecutive album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, an achievement only earned by two other rock groups Metallica and the Dave Matthews Band.

Disturbed headlined the first “Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar” tour along with Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Hellyeah and Halestorm among others in late summer 2010. In October 2010 David Draiman was diagnosed with a serious throat condition and the band’s US tour was canceled as it was estimated that David’s recovery could take up to four weeks. Close to the end of 2010 Disturbed announced that they would leave for their tour of Music As A Weapon V in 2011, co-headlining with Korn and guests Sevendust, In This Moment and Stillwell. In January 2011 they announced that Disturbed would be headlining the Mayhem Festival along with Godsmack and Megadeth for summer 2011. In February 2011 it was confirmed that the band would be playing Download Festival and in May 2011 Disturbed co-headlined the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio.

A previously unreleased song “3” became available for download on their website. All proceeds from the song would go towards benefiting the Damien Echols Defense Fund, a foundation supporting the release of the West Memphis Three.

In July 2011, Disturbed confirmed that the band would go on hiatus after completing their US tour and during an interview in the same month David Draiman dismissed rumors that the hiatus came about as a result of conflict between band members. Disturbed went on hiatus in October 2011. They released a b-side compilation album, titled “The Lost Children” on the 8th of November 2011. The song “Hell” became available for digital download on the 11th of October 2011. The track listing and release date for the album was announced on David Draiman’s Twitter profile. On the 21st of April 2012 to commemorate Record Store Day, Disturbed released “The Collection”, a box set featuring the band’s five full-length studio albums in 140g vinyl LPs.

On the 20th of June 2015 on Disturbed’s official Facebook page and website, posts were made hinting at the band’s return. The website displayed a new Disturbed logo and a video of the band’s mascot on life support, still breathing. On the 22nd of June 2015 a video was posted by the band of The Guy awakening from life support along with an 18-hour countdown on their official website giving speculation to a definite reunion. On the 23rd of June 2015, Disturbed officially announced the end of their hiatus and the title of their new album titled “Immortalized”. A music video for their song “The Vengeful One” released on the same day. “Immortalized” released on the 21st August 2015. All bass tracks on the album was performed by Dan Donegan and not John Moyer. However John Moyer still remains an official band member appearing in promotional material and performing during live performances. On the album’s release day, the band played their first show in four years at the House of Blues in Chicago. “Immortalized” is Disturbed’s fifth consecutive number-one debut on the United States Billboard 200 chart.

Disturbed is a monumental force in the rock music industry and has walked the line between becoming successful and still catering to the die-hard hard rock community which is no small feat. I discovered the band on a compilation of rock music videos. I had never heard of the band, but didn’t think it would hurt to give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised and I was a fan since I watched the music video for “Land of Confusion”. I admire the band for experimenting with sounds and lyrics, but essentially staying true to their roots. My favourite album thus far (excluding “Immortalized”) has been The Lost Children, I can’t believe that most of those songs are b-sides!  I hope the fans can look forward to many more years of Disturbed.

Follow Dan Donegan on Twitter:

Follow John Moyer on Twitter:

Follow Mike Wengren on Twitter:

Follow Disturbed on Twitter:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Nothing More

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Credits to Joshua from Stand Up Alone Productions Source:

Nothing More is an American band from San Antonio, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The band consists of Jonny Hawkins (lead vocals, drums), Daniel Oliver (bass, backing vocals), Mark Vollelunga (guitar, backing vocals), Paul O’Brien (drums (live performances).

Signed to Eleven Seven Music, the band has released six studio albums to date, including their self-titled major label debut released in 2014. The lead single from that album titled “This is the Time (Ballast)” hit number one on the Mediabase Active Rock and number 2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.

The band released their first studio album called “Shelter” in 2004 under their own label, their second studio album was titled “Madhatter’s Bliss” in 2005, their third album called “Vandura” released in 2006, another album which would be their fourth release “Save You/Save Me” was released under the label Vestia Entertainment on the 5th of January 2007. Nothing More released their fifth studio album under the same label on the 21st of February 2009 was named “The Few Not Fleeting”. Nothing More originally released their self-titled album on the 1st of March 2013 under their own label. Eleven Seven Music re-released the album on the 24th of June 2014.

No one can accuse this band for not being devoted to their careers, when they first started they branded themselves on the arm after each year of touring and it serves as a reminder of the commitment they made to one another. Initially the band formed in Middle School with aspirations as serious as they are now. The band’s early development started as a mixture of boredom against a suburban backdrop and a rabid musical obsession. The moment of truth came when the band had to choose between a career in music or going to college. Everyone advised them to continue studying according to Jonny Hawkins, but they didn’t want to settle and dream of what would’ve been. The band didn’t want to have a plan B and they decided to ignore everyone’s advice and to dedicate themselves to music.

Nothing More decided to take matters into their own hands and fixed up a derelict , raccoon infested RV to make their own stage rigs for their intense live shows. Their first few tours were formative and crucial to the band’s growth and philosophical outlook of the world. Jonny Hawkins believes that this period of growth was a real struggle for the band individually and collectively. These experiences allowed the band to be more open to other ideas and to have faith in their own instincts.

Nothing More bring raw aggression to their live performances and they will push the limits of what you thought a rock band is supposed to be. The band is not concerned with how or where they fit in within the music industry and they are more concerned about making honest, passionate art.

The band put in some really hard work during the early years on an independent level which Jonny believes helped them problem solve, because they didn’t have access to a lot of resources when they started out. The band’s recent success have helped changed their perspective about people and how music can connect to the similarities in all humans regardless where they are from.

The band has teamed with such organizations as To Write Love on Her Arms, Bring Change 2 Mind, the International Bipolar Foundation, The Jed Foundation and Young Minds (UK) to help start the discussion on mental illness and hopefully help those suffering to seek out the help they need.

Nothing More penned their latest single “Jenny” about Jonny’s sister who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Jonny told Loudwire in an interview that the story of “Jenny” is an ongoing struggle that him and his family have to deal with. He confesses that it is one of the most confusing situations that he has had to navigate in his life.

The fact that the subject matter is so close to Jonny, made him decide to take on directing duties for the band’s latest video which depicts a woman dealing with the demons of her affliction and the video ends with some shocking statistics about mental illness and contact information for organizations that deal with specific mental health issues.

The band launched a PledgeMusic Campaign for their charity partners, opening an online forum for fans to share their stories with others about either dealing with mental illness themselves or having a family member or close friend with a similar story. Nothing More are calling their next tour the “Jenny” tour where proceeds from VIP ticketing will be distributed among the band’s charitable partners.

The first verse in this song “Jenny” completely took me off guard and I was totally mesmerized by this song from that moment on. At the time I knew nothing about the subject matter that inspired the song.

View the video here:

Nothing More is a band that pour all of their energy, angst, aggression and determination into every performance and that is a band I’m proud to support. There is something about scratching and clawing your way to success that make you appreciate it when you get there, no matter how famous or successful you become. A true test of a band is when they become profitable. The band can choose to continue to work even harder to make great music or rest on their laurels. I’m happy to say that Nothing More didn’t choose the latter.

Follow the band on Twitter:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

A HUGE shout-out to Stand Up Alone Productions for allowing me to use their photographs for this blog post!!

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions Source:

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions Source:

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions Source:

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions Source:

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions Source:

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions Source:

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions Source:

Credits to Joshua from StandAlone Productions

Band of the Month – You Me At Six

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You Me At Six by wintermourn Source:
You Me At Six by wintermourn

You Me At Six is a British rock band from Weybridge, Surrey, England in 2004.

In the early days of the band they released 2 extended plays We Know What It Means to Be Alone and Untitled. The tracks “Gossip” and “The Rumour” were born on the EPs.

You Me At Six released their debut album “Take Off Your Colours” through Slam Dunk Records on the 8th of October 2008. A deluxe version of the album released in September of the same year with a bonus disc which featured singles  “Finders Keepers” and “Kiss and Tell” along with B-sides “Sweet Feet”, “All Your Fault” and “Blue Eyes Don’t Lie”. The band covered Lady Gaga’s Poker Face for Live Lounge and it appeared as a B-side on their single for “Kiss and Tell”. You Me At Six was the supporting act for Fall Out Boy in late 2008.

On the 11 November 2009 Josh Franceshi announced that the band had completed their second album and it was to be released in early 2010. The second album “Hold Me Down” would be released through Virgin Records on the 11th January 2010. The song “The Consequence” was made available as a free digital download from their official website. They recorded the album at Outhouse Studios in Reading, it was produced and engineered by Matt ‘O Grady and mixed by John Mitchell as was their previous record. The first official single from the album “Underdog” was available for free streaming on MySpace. On the 28th of January it was announced that an iTunes exclusive bundle would become available. The second single “Liquid Confidence” was released on the 19th of April 2010 and the music video for the band’s third single titled “Stay With Me” was available on the 21st of July. The video was shot on site in California before they headed out on the Warped Tour 2010. The band released an official iTunes “single bundle” for “Stay With Me” which included an acoustic version  of “Stay With Me” along with a cover of the track “Starry Eyed” by Ellie Golding. In late 2010 YMAS collaborated with Chiddy Bang on a song titled “Rescue Me” and it was accessible on the 14th of February 2011. The single’s package includes an exclusive B-side track called “Knew It Was You”.

The third full-length studio album by the band called “Sinners Never Sleep” released on the 30th of September 2011 and marketed by Virgin Records in the UK, Australia and New Zealand on the 3rd of October 2011. The album was available on the 24th of January 2012 in the US. The album was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Garth Richardson and the album features guest vocals by Oli Sykes and Winston McCall. The first single off the album’s video shoot was delayed due to the London Riots in 2011.

In March of 2012 the band revealed that they had recorded a song for The Swarm, which is Europe’s’ tallest winged roller-coaster located in Thorpe Park. The song released on iTunes on the 18th March 2012 and is the world’s first single for a roller-coaster. (no surprise there 😉 )

The video for “Loverboy” debuted on the 28th of August and the single released on the 23rd of September 2011, followed by “Bite My Tongue” which made its appearance on the 28th of November 2011. The third single from the album called “No One Does It Better” became available on the 8th of April 2012. The last single from the album titled “Reckless” released on the 22nd of October 2012.

Cavalier Youth is the fourth full length album from You Me At Six. The album appeared on shelves and in digital stores on the 27th of January 2014. The first single from the album “Lived A Lie” was released on the 2nd of September 2013 and the track featured in the football video game FIFA 14. The second single called “Fresh Start Fever” released on the 3rd of December 2013. The album debuted at Number 1 on the UK Album Chart which gave the band their first number 1 album in the UK. The third single was “Room To Breathe” , the fourth single was “Cold Night”and the fifth single was called “Forgive and Forget”.

Bassist Matt Barnes owns his own clothing line “Cheer Up! Clothing” which he formed in late 2007. The clothing line sponsors several artists and bands such as; Four Year Strong, Emarosa, The All-American Reject and We Are The In Crowd to name a few.

Josh Franceschi also owns his own clothing line called “Down But Not Out”. The phrase originated from Josh’s approach to life and his motto that he lives by. Josh was looking for another way to express himself through another medium other than music.

In May 2011 rhythm guitarist Max Helyer started his own clothing line “Become Antique”.

You Me At Six is a band who has built a legacy for themselves through hard work and passion for their music. They have found ways to branch out into other avenues and through that action it has allowed the band to leave their stamp on the world. You Me At Six is a great inspiration to bands who are looking to join the industry. Through perseverance, hard work and talent a band will be able to meet success and YMAS is proof of that.

The video that caught my attention and introduced me to the band – Room To Breathe

View below:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

You can follow the band on Twitter:

You can follow Matt on Twitter:

You can follow Max on Twitter:

You can follow Chris on Twitter:

You can follow Josh on Twitter:

You can follow Dan on Twitter:

Prime Circle Concert Review @ GrandWest, Cape Town

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The band signing autographs at the merch stand.

The band signing autographs at the merch stand.

The stage, Grand West Arena.

The stage, Grand West Arena.

The stage at Grand West Arena.

The stage at Grand West Arena.


I haven’t been to a concert since I saw Nickelback last year in December and I was getting some serious concert withdrawal ;). I was so happy when the time came to go watch Prime Circle for the first time. I’m really sad that I haven’t had the opportunity to see them sooner, but I decided to let bygones be bygones. Prime Circle has become a South African staple over these past few years and they produce quality content time and again.

I had listened to snippets of their latest album on iTunes and watched a few videos to psyche me up for the show. I normally like to know every single song that will be played at a concert, but everything happens for a reason, so I bought the album before the show. I entered the arena and was surprised to see that the Golden Circle featured seats, this gave me the impression that it will be a more chilled/acoustic type of show.

Jesse Clegg performed as the support act and displayed some impressive guitar skills and entertained us with some acoustic songs. It was a pleasant surprise and really refreshing when Prime Circle opened their set straight after the support act. At previous concerts that I have attended the crowd had to wait 30-40 minutes for the main act to start playing.

The introduction was amazing, the band opened up with some amazing graphics displayed on an enormous screen. The stage design was really impressive and on par with international acts. The band kicked off with the title track off their latest album “Let The Night In”. From the get-go my belief that this will be a chilled show was shattered, which I was delighted to discover.

I speak under correction, but I believe the band treated us to each track on their latest album “Let The Night In”. The band combined that with some good old crowd-favourites like “Hello”, “As Long As I’m Here”, “Out of this Place”, “Breathing” etc.

I’m listening to their latest album as I write this and I feel like these earphones are definitely not doing it for me right now, compared to how deafeningly loud the band was on Saturday. My ears were still ringing on Sunday!! I was dancing and singing in my seat the entire night, it took all my strength not to get up and go crazy.

After a lengthy set, the band said their goodbyes and left the stage. The crowd inevitably wanted more and Ross Learmonth (vocalist) took to the stage alone to deliver an amazing rendition of their song “Batten Down The Hatches”, it was delivered with such sincerity that the crowd was captivated. The full band re-entered and things got REALLY loud from there on out. The band performed “She Always Gets What She Wants”, which Ross didn’t even really have to sing, because the crowd was doing it for him. They played “Consider Me”, Never Gonna Bring Us Down” and “I Am”.

My favourite songs off the album are “Let The Night In”, “I Am” and “Yeah”. I was amazed by the texture of Ross’s voice and I don’t know how he manages to sustain it. It really is something to behold. Dale Schnettler was really energetic behind his drum set, so much so that he put it out of commission for a few minutes. 😀 The rest of the band, really put in a solid performance and you could clearly see that they were enjoying every minute of it. My only regret was not being in the Golden Circle, but maybe next time. 😉

I’m so happy that I finally got to see the band in action and I can only hope it won’t be the last time!

You can follow the band on Twitter here:

You can follow the band members’ personal accounts here:

I was so lucky to get my album autographed by each band member and I was reluctant to ask for photos, so my fiance did it for me, I’m really happy he did.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Check out The Rock Riff’s Band of the Month series ft Prime Circle:

Thank you for reading.

Rock Regards,


Lauren K


Band of the Month – Message to Venus

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A new band started to pique my interest recently. I don’t regularly feature unsigned bands, because it is difficult for me to gauge whether the band will be successful in the future or not. I feel that Message to Venus has the potential to become successful in the rock music industry.

Message to Venus (also known as M2V) is an American rock band that hails from Puerto Rico which was formed in 2008 by Jandre Nadal.

Jandre started out trying to get a band together, but he had difficulty finding musicians that were on the same page as he was. Just before he gave up his search, he heard that a band called “De’fekt” was going to start recording a new album. During that time their lead vocalist left the band due to personal reasons, the band then decided to call Jandre.

Jandre grew up listening to bands like; Alice in Chains, Led Zeppelin, Tool, Deftones, Pantera, STP (Core album) and he also enjoys Incubus. His father had a band which is why Jandre mainly listened to classic rock n’ roll and the blues when he was an adolescent. John cites Tool as his favourite band.

Jandre was a former member of a band called Slimy Nuggetz, who shared the stage with bands like;  AnthraxIll NiñoPuya,CircoCaramelos de CianuroSol D’Menta and many more rock festivals in Puerto Rico, the US and South America.

The other members who were part of De’fekt at the time also gained local exposure in their hometown of Puerto Rico.

The band’s current line-up consists of John Feliciano (lead guitar) , Edgar Ramos(bass), Jandre Nadal(lead vocals, guitar) and Juan Font (drums).

The band have no illusions about success and fame, they know it doesn’t come easy and the band is willing to work hard to meet their long-term goals.

The band released their first single Cold & Grey in 2010. They released their EP “The Envelope” in 2011. They released Universal You (Emir Feliciano Remix) – Single on the 31st of January 2012.

I discovered the band when I noticed that they decided to Follow me on Twitter (thanks 😉 ), their logo piqued my curiosity so I decided to investigate further. I listened to their music and watched some videos that the band had released thus far. I decided to feature them in my blog, because have their own unique style and sound. Their sound is like a fusion between alternative rock and grunge. Their music is thought-provoking, raw and pure. The remix of their song “Universal You” just demonstrates how versatile their music can be.

Listen to it here:

“We released our Made-for-web video for Change. Change is our second single from “The Envelope EP”. It features visuals from what happened at the

along with some rehearsal and backstage shots. We had a blast!

The video was put together by Emmanuel Rolón with a bit of help from Ernesto Javier Flores, both of who are great friends.” – Excerpt obtained from Message To Venus’s Facebook Page

My favourite video/song from the band is “Universal You” which uploaded onto their YouTube channel on the 27th of October 2011. Have a look below:

The band’s upcoming album will be called “Victims & Villains”, the album is currently in its final mixing stage, it has been a long process. For this album M2V teamed up with producer Leo Alvarez (Mattador, Tavú, Slimy Nuggetz) who brought out the best in each band member in this 10 song album. I can’t wait to hear more material from this band and I wish them all the best in their future career.

You can follow the band members on Twitter:

You can follow the band on Twitter:

You can buy the band’s EP on iTunes here:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


Source: Photo by Chris Martin

Photo by Chris Martin


Band of the Month – Eve to Adam

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This month we are featuring a band that knows what it means to be driven with a decade of touring and four studio albums added to their resume, I thought it was about time to learn more about this band.

The band’s story starts back in 1997, Taki Sassaris developed the name Eve to Adam and he established the idea for the band. He recruited his brother Alex and they started working on the group together. Taki went to school in Florida and discovered the enigma of music at early age. He started playing the guitar at the age of 13 and he hasn’t stopped playing or singing since then.

Alex Sassaris was born in New Orleans where he used to visit the French Quarter often, taking in all the sounds and sights around him. Initially Alex thought he was going to become a guitar player, but after one lesson he felt that the drums would be his calling. Alex studied various rock icons’ technique(s) and every beat they played on the drums. This includes Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam), Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses/Cult), Sean Kinney (Alice in Chains), and Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters). Alex featured on Modern Drummer Magazine for the album Locked and Loaded which you can read here:

The duo partnered with Desmond Child and signed with his company in 1998. Desmond Child had his own vision for the group and wanted to groom the duo to become pop stars performing his material. This didn’t gel with what Taki Sassaris had in mind for the direction his career would take. The brothers decided to move to New York City in late 1998 and begun by expanding the band. They started recruiting new members, writing material and playing gigs in 1999.

Unexpectedly the band got a big break, by being signed to the Maximum Rock tour. Summer of 1999 passed and suddenly the floor dropped out from underneath their feet, they lost their original bassist, their management company along with the deal they signed with Desmond Child.

Guitarist Guarev Bali was born in New Jersey into a musical family. He was playing guitar at the age of 10, inspired by guitarists Randy Rhoads and Edward Van Halen. The trio immediately started writing songs together for their first album “Auburn Slip” in 2001. Gaurav is officialy endorsed by the Fender/EVH guitar company, Morley Pedals, GHS strings and In Tune Guitar picks.

By the year 2000 the band had decided to start rebuilding the band. They recruited bassist AJ Pappas adding him to the trio which included guitarist Guarev Bali and the two Sassaris brothers.

In the year of 2000 they had signed with Mystic Music a division of Warner Bros. , they were busy working on their debut album when problems with financing arose. The group eventually found another source of financing and the band managed to finish recording the album. “Auburn Slip” was the result of that recording and it was released in 2001. The five-track EP Antidote arrived in 2003, followed in 2007 by Queens to Eden, the group’s major label debut. Banquet for a Starving Dog was released in 2011, followed by their fourth album Locked & Loaded in 2013.

Adam Latiff comes from Orlando, Florida. He is an accomplished rhythm guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. His influences are Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, David Gilmour, Kurt Cobain, BB King, and Eric Clapton. He is a versatile musician and stands out in any genre, whether its  progressive rock, rockabilly or reggae.

Adam has been part of various bands(Devereux, S.W.A.T.T. (Smoke Weed All The Time), Drunk Horses Make Slow Gateways) which has allowed him to hone his skills. He is now a full-fledged member of Eve to Adam.

Aaron Baylor (bassist and backing vocals) joined the band in February of 2014.

The band has toured with Halestorm, Creed, In This Moment, Escape the Fate to name a few.

Eve to Adam reached out to Mark Tremonti, because they liked the production on his Tremonti album so much that they wanted to get in touch with famed producer Elvis Baskette. He was difficult to get hold of initially, because he was working on other projects at the time.

Mark’s recommendation and vote of confidence, convinced Elvis to take on another project even though he wasn’t planning on doing so.

‘Straightjacket Supermodel’ was co-written by Eric Bass of Shinedown.

Eve to Adam is an extremely energetic band and they don’t hold anything back delivering adrenaline-fuelled rock songs that will make you want to head-bang in public…. with your earphones on…. without a care…. 😀

Check out their music video for “Immortal”:

“Immortal is dedicated to those whose accomplishments and influence will last way beyond their living years. It’s about those people that everybody else wants to emulate and strives to be like.”  – Quote by Eve To Adam front man Taki Sassaris. (

You can follow the band on Twitter:

Have a great week!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K



Band of the Month – We As Human

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All photos belong to the photographer who took them, as credited in the caption.

If any of you have read my tweets recently, you will know I have developed yet another obsession and I would like to share it with The Rock Riff’s followers.

We As Human is a Christian rock band from Sandpoint, Idaho and they formed in 2006. They have been signed to Atlantic Records record label. They moved to Nashville, Tennessee in September 2011 and still live there.

The band consists of:

Justin Cordle-Vocals
Adam Osborne-Drums
Jake Jones-Guitar
Justin Forshaw – Guitar
Dave Draggoo-Bass

The band had an interesting story to tell starting with the band who discovered them, Skillet. Skillet was playing an arena show and their road manager was working at the show. Their road manager handed the band an EP that We As Human had produced. Front man for Skillet, John Cooper listened to it that night and he loved it saying that it punched him in the face. He called his band manager,  Zach Kelm and he said to him, ‘I think you should work with this band.'” From there on an introduction to Atlantic Records wasn’t far off. Now, with their self-titled debut-album being released through Atlantic Records via Hear It Loud, a partnership helmed by John Cooper, Zach Kelm and attorney Todd Rubenstein. We As Human arrives at a place where their future looks exciting and promising.

With We As Human’s thrilling collection of songs together with rock-renowned record producer Howard Benson it can only serve to amplify the band’s already massive, juggernaut sound.

For Justin Cordle it was absolutely thrilling that Howard Benson produced  P.O.D.ʼs “Satellite,” an album that Cordle played countless times on its release. He held that record in high regard and he knew their record would come out better because of  Howard Benson.

We As Human’s debut album stays true to the core of their sound and adds an unrivaled intensity and energy to each song. In my opinion this album is by far one of the best debut albums by a rock band that I have heard in a very long time. Most bands take a few years to really find their stride and their signature sound. Some familiar faces appear on the record, such as John Cooper from Skillet on the track “Zombie” and Lacy Sturm (previously from Flyleaf) on ” Take The Bullets Away”.

The inspiration for the record was generated by the band’s own lives, experiences and stories.

“Sever” is an extremely personal song for lead singer Justin Cordle. His nephew was fighting cancer at the tender age of 3 he passed away. Justin wrote the song after his passing.

“Finally Cordle found the inspiration he needed in Tyler’s mother: “She said something that will stay with me forever: ‘People are really sorry about Tyler losing his battle with cancer. But I don’t think he lost his battle with cancer; he won his battle, and he’s with his creator, and the cancer is dead.ʼ To hear that from a woman who had just lost her son was amazing to me. It was really heavy.” – Sourced from We As Human’s Official Facebook Page (

We As Human made a video featuring a tribute to Justin Cordle’s nephew and played an acoustic version of “Sever”. During this performance Justin’s passion for music and dedication to his religion became clear to me. His voice is extremely versatile, it can go from silky smooth to gruff in an instant.

“Strike Back” is the first single from their debut album and has a hard-hitting chorus that grabs you by the collar and doesn’t  let go. That is exactly the band’s intention with their first song. It is their statement and declaration of courage.

For the band the ultimate pay-off for their hard work is not money or fame, but an intimate relationship with their fans.

I discovered the band when I watched the Cover-Tune Grab Bag video on YouTube which is a Roadshow tradition and different bands come together to cover a popular song. Justin Cordle started to sing the first few lines of Katy Perry’s Roar and the manner in which he delivered those first few lines got me interested.

Watch the video below:

So I watched some of their other videos on YouTube and eventually listened to their track “Zombie” on iTunes. I decided there and then that I have to own the entire album.

I never regretted that decision. There is enough content on this album to satisfy any rock music lover. From the heavier tracks like “Strike Back”, “Dead Man”, “Take The Bullets Away”, “Zombie” to the more tender “Fall Apart” followed by the more mainstream rock songs “Bring To Life”, “Let Me Drown” and “Sever”.

I have never been so infatuated by a band that I have just started listening to.

Check out the official music video for the band’s first single “Strike Back”:

Justin Cordle is very proud of their live shows and that they work hard at perfecting their art, while still delivering intense, energetic performances.

We As Human’s thought-provoking lyrics coupled with their unbridled energy and enthusiasm combines to create an explosive package. The band has incredible potential to go as far in the music industry as they are willing to venture.

You can follow the band on Twitter:

You can follow Justin Cordle on Twitter:

You can follow Dave Draggoo on Twitter:

You can follow Jake Jones on Twitter:

You can follow Justin Forshaw on Twitter:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K