The awesome guys in My Name Is Drew (who are from Delaware) have just posted a video about the first part of their tour, which included a stop at Galaxy CDs for the show last Saturday with The Rebuilt Machine. The Lonely House’s Jared Bowers makes a cameo as well. An awesome time was had by all, and Jared noted, “I’ve never seen the bands at a show be so into each other’s sets. It was a blast.”
We’re looking forward to seeing My Name Is Drew again, but in the meantime, check out their tour video for some secondhand fun:
I’ve been reluctant to write and post anything about our local independent record store shutting down, but I’m really uncertain as to why. Probably because it was somewhat expected – I write about things that are important to me and they eventually find their way to some place on the world wide web (the beauty and the tragedy of the internet all at once). But, I think more than anything, it was a bit about denial. Galaxy CDs has been a part of my hometown, and a large part of my life, for 11 years now. The weird part is, for almost 10 of those 11 years, I was living almost 700 miles from here.
When I made the decision to move back to Ohio after having been gone for almost 10 years, I threw myself in to supporting local venues and restaurants and shops as much as possible. One of the things that I came to learn, value, and appreciate about living where I was (Northern New Jersey) was the sense of community in the local music scenes, and the pride in owning, operating, and supporting locally owned, independent stores and restaurants. Yeah, New Jersey is as in love with their malls as has been rumored – and pointed out often – but there was, and is, and always will be a sense that the smaller, cozier, more personable places are where community starts and ends. It was with that in mind that I began to explore a lot of what I had taken for granted before leaving. Continue reading
Photo: Mitchell Wojcik
By jared william bowers
Let’s talk about the new Polar Bear Club album, Clash. Battle. Guilt. Pride. shall we? But we’re going to talk about a few other things, too. If that’s alright with you, of course.
We’re at the beginning, maybe even in the middle, of a renaissance of sorts. I sometimes wonder if those younger than me (and a lot of you would qualify as such) realize just what we’re in the midst of. There was a period where things were looking grim. It was a bleak, auto-tuned, disturbingly clone-like wave of boring sameness, and it was bearing down on us in the worst way. The past few years, though, have brought us back from the brink. Bands like Polar Bear Club have, in my opinion, helped save and guide us back from that dark time. With their first full-length, Sometimes Things Just Disappear, we were given an album that refused to hold anything back. It was heavy, but it wasn’t hardcore. It was melodic, but it wasn’t pop. It was sincere, emotional. Resonant. They followed up Sometimes… with a cleaner, but no less ambitiously genre defiant effort, Chasing Hamburg. With a focus on tighter songwriting and a more pristine soundscape, what it lacked in immediately discernable raw energy, it more than made up for with overwhelmingly great songwriting, musically and lyrically. Continue reading
I’ve been a fan of and listening to Balance And Composure (obsessively) since the end of last year, as I was exploring more of the burgeoning independent music coming out of the unlikely area of rural Pennsylvania. It’s not often we find ourselves with such a glut of passionate, talented bands. Even less common is it that these bands not only land on the same label, but decry label and genre boundaries in order to create a genuine community within our scene. Balance And Composure are near the center of this creative explosion and have shown, in no uncertain terms, that they are a band that will be looked up to and remembered for quite some time. I was able to sit down with the band on their recent stop in Cincinnati while on tour with White Wives and another predominant, upstart band Touche Amore. The show itself was breathtaking, and brought me someplace I very rarely venture to these days – the front of the crowd so that I could loudly (read: obnoxiously) sing along. After several tumbles, a few times having to recover my flip-flop, un-pile people from on top of each other, the 6 or 7 times I had to fix a mic/stand, and a little blood loss, I was hoarse and lightheaded, having witnessed something I could never successfully describe. It was one of the few truly transcendent experiences I’ve had in my 15 years of show-going.
As for the interview, we cover a variety of topics over the course of about 15 or so minutes, and have chosen to present it to you in two longer parts so as to let the flow of what turns in to more of a conversation move at its own pace. We hope you enjoy listening!
I think it goes without saying (even though I’m saying it…) that if you’ve heard and enjoyed an August Burns Red album, then you’re going to enjoy Leveler. While there are new elements to be heard and applauded throughout, Leveler is very much the next logical step in the progression of a band that started out way ahead of everyone else.
Like a lot of fans involved in any facet of our independent music scene, I lead a sort of sonic double life. While my preferences tend to lean more toward the more melodic (or in some cases, a-melodic) Indie Rock side of the spectrum, I find myself regularly delving in to some of the last decade’s most influential, passionate, and talented Hardcore bands. It took me a while to understand that music is multi-faceted – every genre is simply another side of an infinitely complex coin. When we’re younger, we often find ourselves pledging foolish allegiances to one style of music or another, and use that define our actions, clothing, and attitudes. What we fail to realize is that a majority of the bands making music within our genre’s of choice are, quite simply, fans of music- not just Hardcore, or Metal, or Indie, or Hip-Hop. In talking with Matt Greiner, drummer and founding member of August Burns Red, we discussed bands and albums that he was listening to at the moment – his first suggestion? – Fleet Foxes. We then talked about our mutual adoration of Christian post-everything band mewithoutYou. It was with that information in mind that I went in to listening to Leveler for the first time, allowing me the chance to think of August Burns Red as something other than a talented, well thought out, technically proficient Metal/Hardcore band.
Being a part of this particular independent music scene is sort of like being involved in Fight Club – you determine your own level of involvement. Personally, I’ve always wanted to be involved in some capacity, as I’ve always enjoyed talking with bands and artists about what they create, especially if it’s something that is meaningful to me in some way, but I’ve never really known exactly how to make that happen. I’ve managed to do so in small increments over the years – lots of shows, a few chats, and plenty of music purchased. But last year I took a big step in to taking on a more active role (even if it is minimal in comparison to what others are able to do), and I feel like a lot of what I’ve done, the people I’ve talked to, and the experiences I’ve had are all culminating for me in a lot of exciting ways. This past month has been a busy one. We’ve talked with a lot of bands and artists in the hopes of sharing our passion and interest in what they’re creating, with you, the reader and the listener who is just as curious about what goes in to the art that they make, but may not have the opportunities we’ve been afforded. It’s an honor, and really, a privilege, to get to have these experiences.
Video interview after the jump:
Week before last I was able to chat with Tanner and Johnny, two members of Atlanta post-hardcore group O’Brother. Tanner plays guitar and takes care of vocals, Johnny plays guitar and provides backing vocals. The other members of the band – Michael on drums, Aaron on guitar, and Anton on bass – were around and spent a lot of time talking with me about a variety of things. Our conversations were mostly music based, but never solely about their own band. Over the course of the night, I not only got to know this great band better, but made a fantastic group of new friends. Their monstrous live show and incredibly humble, down-to-earth approach to their fanbase is as admirable as it is singular, and just one of many reasons to pay attention as they near the release of their first full-length release, Garden Window, at the end of the summer.
Video interview after the jump:
Not too long ago, I was given the chance to talk to Matt Greiner, drummer for technical hardcore juggernauts August Burns Red. We discuss their new album, Leveler, which will see release through Solid State Records on June 21st, and a few other things. We are proud and excited to share this chat with you! Enjoy!
Part 1 – On catching up with life between touring and recording
Part 2 – Touring Europe vs. touring the U.S.
Part 3 – Discussing the tracks on the new album, how they came together, and the difference between the new album and their previous releases.
Part 4 – The need for progression vs. the need to please fans, and how those moments find their way in to the writing process.
Part 5 – On balancing the pressure to please fans and meeting their expectations while meeting their own.
Part 6 – On Warped Tour.
Part 7 – A brief discussion about music, new and old.
I want to thank Matt for taking the time to chat with me – very much appreciated – and many thanks (as always) to Jeff at Black Lodge for setting everything up!
Be sure to check out August Burns Red this summer as they headline Warped Tour, and expect a full headlining tour in support of Leveler this coming winter and spring! Leveler is out June 21st.
Last week, at the Covington stop of the Take Action Tour, I had the chance to sit down for a chat with Shane Told, vocalist of influential and long-standing post-hardcore act Silverstein. We cover a variety of topics spanning the bands 10+ year career over the course of about 25 minutes. To make the night more memorable, I was able to bring long-time fan Kayla along with me and have her meet Shane – she was even gracious enough to film for us while we talked. It was a great thing to be able to do, so I’m looking forward to being able to provide even more experiences like this for fans in the future.
Video interview after the jump: