Category: Alternative

The past couple of years have seen some major changes for Japanese hardcore outfit Crossfaith. While the band has continues to build a strong fanbase they decided to leave the label that they had been with for a number of years and set up their own label in Japan. While that kind of decision sounds like it would lead to great stress I recently found out while chatting to the band’s front-man Kenta Kole that it has made them feel like they were working with a blank canvas as they prepared to work on their new Species EP which is out this week.

“We didn’t have any concept at all with this album,” he says with a happy tone in his voice. “We just decided to make every song stronger than anything we had ever done in the past. That was our only mindset. We had also started our own label and this is the very first record from the label so it felt like a new beginning and working on this EP felt like it brought us right back to the very start. That was a really great feeling and it seemed to give us a really strong confidence with this album.”

As our discussion goes on we talk more about the band’s decision to start their own label and what it means for them now. “We had been with Sony with five years I think,” says Kole. “They were a great partner but we needed to make a decision and we made the decision to start our own label. That gave us the chance to go out by ourselves and that was one of the main reasons why we decided to start the new label. And yeah it is tough but we needed to make the decision and we decided that we just had to do it. We now have to make all the decisions ourselves.”

The move also means that Kole and the rest of his band mates now feel a more sense of freedom with their work. “That is exactly right,” he agrees when I ask him whether they feel freer now. “Sony is also a major label, they are one of the biggest in the world and sometimes label like that can ask you do to stuff or ask stupid questions. We were lucky that we had some good guys at Sony and we never got any stupid questions, but now we feel like we are freer although we do have more responsibility aside from our music. That means we are free but at the same time we do have major responsibilities… I think that is the major difference.”

With that decision giving them a blank canvas to work on with this album I ask Kole what kind of things that meant for them as they started to work on the Species EP. “With this EP we used some different things that were inspired by 90s culture. I was born in 1988 so the 1990s in our generation. I looked back at the 90s and I felt that the 90s vibe has more excitement compared to right now so i wanted to use the 90s vibe and the 90s style.”

“We were looking at the movies… movies like The Matrix,” explains Kole when I ask him what kinds of things from the 90s did the band use for inspiration for the album. “I think that came out in 1997 or 1998 and when it came out it was like it blew my mind with the movie. I had never seen that kind of movie before when I was young… I got so many shocks. And that music at that time, there was Nu-Metal was so big. Back in the 90s rock bands were the kings but at the moment I would say that rock bands are getting weaker so it was good for me to go back and take a look at those movements because I still think that rock music is one of the most exciting kinds of music in the world. But yeah the 1990s had so many great cultures especially when you think of things like movies and like PlayStation, there was so many new things, it wasn’t just improving the 1990s had so many new things, so many cool new things. So we wanted this EP to be like that, and we had that idea before we even started out with the EP.”

 

Species EP is out on May 22nd through UNFD.

 

 

Last month, The Used called upon fans to submit videos of their frontline fighters as part of a very special project sharing “Every day you wake up and leave your loved ones to fight to keep us safe. We want to showcase them in our new music video.”

Today, the band has unveiled the music video for “The Lighthouse (feat. Mark Hoppus)” featuring Nurses, Doctors, First Responders, Gas Station Attendants, Grocery Store Clerks, Delivery People and other Essential Workers as well as members of The Used and Mark Hoppus at home with their families.

Fans can watch the heartwarming video today at https://smarturl.it/BeYourLighthouse. It is a beautiful tribute to the people that are tirelessly working to keep all of us safe through these unprecedented times. The video also showcases how truly diverse and dedicated The Used family is.

Speaking to the message behind the track, front man Bert McCracken shared the following message:
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare

Doubt can be an avalanche. It can cascade out and infect everything it touches. Inspiration is also infectious. The original chorus lyric was “I can’t be your lighthouse”, until I was reminded by my 6 year old daughter that I can be and I am. It helps to remember that we all have the capability to inspire someone in our own way. Please enjoy our song The Lighthouse as much as we do. Love, Bert

“The Lighthouse (feat. Mark Hoppus)” comes from the band’s recently released eighth studio album Heartwork, which was released last month via Big Noise. Heartwork celebrated a strong first week, locking in #2 spots on both the Current Alternative and Record Label Independent Album charts, #3 on both Current Rock and Top Current Album charts as well as landing in the Billboard Top 200 at the #87 spot.

The album arrived with the unbound spirit of the pair of platinum albums that first introduced The Used to the world, mixed with the dramatic air of their gold-certified third. The emotion, sincerity, and vulnerability found on The Used (2002) and In Love and Death (2004) is more urgent and insistent than ever on Heartwork, a diverse 16-song offering filled of self-examination, hyper-literate exploration, political pyromania, and keenly self-aware yet unrestrained whimsy.

Songs like recent singles “Blow Me”, “Paradise Lost, a poem by John Milton” and “Cathedral Bell” take their place alongside some of the best-known jams to emerge from the frenetic “screamo” world, anthems that conquered hearts and minds and Active Rock. “The Bird and the Worm,” “The Taste of Ink,” “All That I’ve Got,” “I Caught Fire,” and “Blood On My Hands” are beloved for their raw emotion, authentic defiance, and inviting empathy, all of which etched them into the spiritual DNA of a legion of likeminded listeners across the globe.

Twenty years ago, The Used was brought to life and has since released a collection of albums that shaped the space of the alternative rock scene. High energy live shows, gut wrenching relatable lyrics, and melodies that blended pop sensibility and hard rock was the perfect combination to make an everlasting impression on fans globally. Heartwork is exactly the album Used fans need right now.

Fans can stream Heartwork and purchase exclusive merch bundles today at https://theused.ffm.to/heartwork. The Used is Bert McCracken (Vocals), Jepha (Bass), Dan Whitesides (Drums) and Joey Bradford (Guitar). Heartwork is out now.

 

Fearless Records will be hosting a one-time only, global event featuring the label roster. Fearless At Home will take place Sunday May 10 at 5am AEST via the label YouTube channel!

Today, Fearless has announced which artists will be participating, making Fearless At Home a “can’t miss” event. On deck are acoustic performances from As It IsGrayscaleIce Nine KillsLocketPlain White T’sSet It OffThe AlmostThe Plot In YouWage War + The Pretty Reckless.

Fans can also expect appearances by All That RemainsAugust Burns RedCapstanEat Your Heart Out (AUS), iDKHOW, I PrevailKill the LightsMovementsMy Kid BrotherOceans Ate AlaskaStarsetThe Word AliveUnderoathVarials, and Volumes.

This live-streamed, virtual event also functions like a “festival” to help raise funds for bands + crew.

Fearless will also releasing two event-branded merch items where all net proceeds will be donated to Crew Nation. Be sure and tune in to Fearless At Home on Sunday, May 10 or be felled by FOMO!

 

Fearless Records will be hosting a one-time only, global event featuring most Fearless artists, and even a new artist signing announcement!

Fearless at Home will take place Saturday May 9th at 3pm ET/12pm PT (Sunday May 10 5am AEST) via the label’s YouTube channel. The website Fearlessathome.com is now live as well with more information!

Expect everything from live acoustic sets to fun, at-home segments. You will see our bands like you NEVER have before. This live-streamed, virtual event also functions like a “festival” to help raise funds for bands + crew.

Fearless will also be releasing two event-branded merch items where all net proceeds will be donated to Crew Nation.

Details about which bands will be taking part in Fearless at Home will be revealed shortly. So stayed tuned and set a calendar reminder in your phone for May 10th 5am AEST!

 

For Canberra rockers Biilmann 2020 is turning into a really big year. The band kicked off 2020 with the release of their powerful debut single “Bad Man/Good Intentions” that was quickly picked up by over fifty radio stations including Triple M. Now the band are about to release their debut EP so I sat down and had a chat with frontman Jack Biilmann to find out a little more about the band that everybody is talking about.

“This is a new band that my brother and I hatched a few years ago,” says Biilmann when we begin our chat by talking about how the band started out. “We played around with the idea for awhile because I play as a singer/songwriter and have another side to my career and I have always done that. But I have always wanted to rock out and I have that beast inside of me and I had done a lot of solo touring and I just felt like I needed a break from all of that. I also needed a new exciting project to inspire me.”

“At the same time I had been writing a lot of rock & roll riffs,” he says continuing. “My brother listens to predominantly heavy music – stuff like Parkway Drive – and we are not as heavy as that but anything heave he kind of thrives on so we got together and just started to write these heavy riffs. Then Toddy who plays bass with my solo project he is really into rock as well so he came on board and then we decided we wanted to thicken it up so we brought in another guitarist and then suddenly we had this four piece rock band.”

With the band members all seeming to like different kinds of music I asked Biilmann what it was like the first few times they all got together and tried to find a sound for the band. “Yeah we all do have different musical backgrounds,” he admits. “But we had all kind of agreed that we wanted to just play something really heavy. We wanted really heavy, tight riffs that created that really heavy rock sound. Basically with all that in mind we just all brought our influences along so the band just took off with the rest of the stuff. We were all on the same page with what we wanted to achieve and we were all strictly going for the one thing and we just all brought it together with all the boys from the different backgrounds.”

When it comes to the lyric writing for the band though everything falls on Biilmann himself. “I do all the lyric writing,” he says. “Usually with my solo stuff over the years I have written about common things, things that are happening in my life and telling stories, as a singer/songwriter that is kind of the road that you go down, but with this this felt like I wanted to create a little more mystery in the minds of the listener. There are a couple of songs that have that story telling element but that is always going to shine through with anything I do I think, but I think really I just wanted to put things out there and the listener could have their own take rather than it just being a black and white story.”

With the band in lockdown at the moment they have had to cancel their upcoming shows but help them out by buying a copy of the EP and a merch pack from their Facebook page.

 

Sink Like A Stone EP is out now.

 

The Atomic Beau Project are Brisbane’s newest prog/heavy powerhouses. Today, they bring forth to the world their epic new single and video ‘Time’. The single will find itself into the world on Friday April 17th and will be available on all good online stores and streaming platforms at http://ffm.to/TABP_time.

For those not in the know, The Atomic Beau Project are a progressive rock band, incorporating elements of metal, indie pop, and electronica and hail from the sunny state of Queensland. Originally a solo studio project created by it’s founding member, The Atomic Beau Project officially expanded into a full band lineup in 2020 and now they are presenting their debut video and single.

‘Time’ is the latest single from The Atomic Beau Project, following 2019 single ‘The King‘, and 2 singles in 2018, ‘Daybreak‘ and ‘Unknown‘. ‘Time’ heralds a bigger, bolder & broader sound for the band, with far more attack and light/shade than ever before demonstrated in their previous releases. The track was recorded/engineered/produced/mixed by Andy James (The Atomic Beau Project) and Mastered by Matthew Gray (Matthew Gray Mastering).

The debut filmclip for the band gives the world the first taste of the flavour and character of the band that will take the stage in the coming months, showing off the energetic performances and fragility and range of vocalist Beau’s vocal range!

Beau explains the meaning of the single as “‘Time’ is the story of a man who finds himself trapped in a world where time slows down. Whilst his body slowly deteriorates over time, he continues to think and function normally, fully experiencing the horrifying event as it unfolds.”

Beau continued about the new single, “This is the thing we have created that we are most proud of so far. We are so incredibly excited to release this into the world and show everyone what The Atomic Beau Project is all about – we feel this song and clip totally embodies that.

Comprising the rest of the band are Jack Gardiner on Guitar, Luke Woollett on Bass and Andy James on Drums in a newly formed outfit to perform the epic tunes live going forward!

The Atomic Beau’s new single ‘Time’ is out on Friday April 17th and will be available on all good online stores and streaming platforms at http://ffm.to/TABP_time.

 

No Aussie music compilation is complete without some dirty bluesy rock, right? Well bringing that to the table on the Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1 album is Melbourne band Southbound Snake Charmers. This is a band who describe themselves as dirtier than a roadhouse bathroom and guaranteed to make you slither like a red-bellied black snake – and boy do they bring some magic to this album.

“So currently what we say we play is psychedelic swamp groove,” says main man Chris when I catch up with to find out a little more about the band. “This band has taken quite a few forms, initially we were three guitarists playing really heavy kind of Delta blues stuff and then that evolved through to drums, then some sax and an extra singer.”

“Then at some point the original singer left and me and the other guitarist did the old rock, paper, scissors to see who was going to take singing lessons to become the singer,” he says continuing with a laugh. “I lost, obviously since I’m the singer. So I went and got singing lessons and then when we went in to record our new EP we started to hang around Music Land and there was a bunch of musicians hanging around there so we picked up a bass player and then became a four-piece.”

Despite that major change though the band were still evolving. “We recorded our first two EPs like that,” Chris explains. “We had a real dirty blues sound – almost like The Black Keys but heavier, that sort of sound. Then the guitarist left and we became a three-piece for two albums, one of which we just released and that had the single on it that we did with Rue Morgue “Through The Smoke.” With the latest stuff we’ve been told we sound like a heavier version of Credence so you can see why we are saying it is psychedelic swamp groove.”

Southbound Snake Charmers’ relationship with Rue Morgue Records all started with Chris’ radio show. “We’ve been doing it for about fourteen years,” he explains. “And I met John through another photographer, so he had been on the show before and when I saw that he had started the label up and he was putting out singles I thought ‘this looks pretty good, let’s try and jump on this early.” So I messaged him and told him that we had just put an album out and were keen to put a single out so we went through there.”

As we delve more into the band’s music Chris tells me that the track you hear from them on the Rue Morgue Records compilation is a little bit different to the to the other music that they have been playing lately. “It’s weird because it is not our traditional psychedelic swamp groove,” he says. “I had seen what John was trying to do with the compilation. He was heading towards one of those old compilations that you used to get with the magazines. That was what he was heading towards so being a very big Motorhead fan, especially the first era especially the first two albums where they were basically a blues band but very heavy, I thought I could do something there and that would fit with the compilation and it would still be true to what we do, so yeah we put out a song called “Bad Ass Blues.””

“I had actually been playing around with those lyrics since Lemmy had passed,” he goes to say as he talks about the very beginnings of the album. “But I didn’t want to be like everybody else and just quickly put out a Lemmy tribute song. I just wanted to do it for myself and write what I wanted to write and everything just seemed to land in the same spot when this came out so I thought ‘let’s do this now.’ So we did.”

As we begin to wrap up Chris has just one piece of advice for those people who still haven’t bought their copy of Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol. 1. “Don’t hesitate, just grab it,” he says happily. “This is going to give you a great taste of a palette of a whole bunch of stuff there. You are going to get a taste of bands that you may never have listened to before!”

 

 

The last few years have been absolutely crazy for New Zealand hard rock band Drxnes. Through the release of some amazing tracks and a hard gigging special the band have managed to create quite a fanbase. To thank those fans for their dedication this week the band decided to lighten everybody’s lockdown moods by releasing a new video for one of their most popular tracks – “Zero.”

“So the video release is kind of a pause of reflection for us as a band,” says Drxnes’ drummer Ethan Coleman when I chatted to him this week. “A lot has happening for us last year and the year before that so we kind of wanted to capture that for the fans that have been listening to us. We really wanted them to see what the relationships are like between all of us and all that kind of thing. I guess we really just wanted to show the fun side of things.”

The band have achieved so much in such a small amount of time and Coleman admits that it was kind of nice to be able to look back and reflect on all that has happened so far. “Oh man, it was awesome,” he says with a laugh. “You know as a band you always go through hard times and stressful times so to be able to look back at that jut reminds you of why you do it and that we really love what we do. We were also able to see that we have such great friendships with each other and that is really important to me.”

As we reflect on some of the highlights that Drxnes have achieved to date I ask Coleman openly what has been the biggest highlight for him so far. “I guess the biggest highlight for me was being able to open up for Blindspott,” he says after thinking pausing for a moment to think. “They are probably one of New Zealand’s biggest rock bands out there, they were always a family favourite for me when I was growing up as a kid. I remember I used to wait to see their videos on the Top 40 on the TV when I was a little kid… so that was pretty awesome.”

Of course meeting your idols doesn’t always go as smoothly as you think it would in your head, many people become completely tongue-tied when they find themselves in a room with their idol and Coleman laughs when I ask him what it was like when he got the change to meet Blindspott. “I that exact feeling that you are talking about,” he says laughing loudly. “I was pretty nervous and I did get pretty tongue-tied so it was a little bit awkward. But I found those feelings kind of disappeared once we had played the show.”

Of course just like it is for the rest of the world this has been a weird time for Drxnes while they are in lockdown but as I chat to Coleman I learn that despite the work they have done with the “Zero” video they also have some other surprises in store for their fans. “Aside from the “Zero” video we have also been working on some brand new music,” he says. “We have actually been writing a heap of new material…there are a heap of new songs there that we have been working on. We are taking our time with it though because we don’t want to release something half-assed. We want to do the best that we can do and really show people what we are about. So there is a bunch of new music but we though seeing we had all this great footage from the past tours we should do something… and here we are.”

So make sure you take a look at the brand new video from Drxnes and watch this exciting band for new material in the future.