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State Champs and The Finer Things
08/16/13 at 07:51 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Back in 2010, after about a year or so of working on AP.net, I had built up enough gusto and connections to want to try and enter the field of management. I mean, I've had a bunch of management jobs before, so what could be so hard? Little did I know, it would be a lot more stress filled nights of sending emails, phone calls and nights filled with disappointment.

But I made a promise to myself that if I was going to manage a band, it had to be a group or someone that I wholeheartedly believed in, with 100% of my heart. Some things are just meant to happen in life, I believe that for a fact. So when I came across a young band called State Champs out of Albany, NY, something just clicked. Of course, the vocals were the first point that stood out, but that wasn't just it; there was something special there. I found myself going back daily & listening to their music and within a week, every song was engraved in my brain, inside and out like they were my own. Every year I find myself listening to less and less of the music that got me to where I am today, but this was different.

So after a few weeks, I decided to reach out to the guys and explain the situation at hand, this being my first shot at managing a band and all that jazz. Luckily for me (and their horrible judgement), they were open to give things a shot being such a young band in the scene. I felt like I was on top of the world, like Iíd found my diamond in the rough. For that reason, I had interest in working with a couple artists, but nothing felt the same (much like a relationship), so I never followed through.

We watched considerable growth; more and more kids were coming to shows and making a presence online. With that, I hoped I could garner some label interest, pitching the boys to just about everyone but getting no real answers back. I assume the feeling is somewhat like being a parent and watching your kids continually lose a sporting event, but knowing that they have the talent to make it.

I always told the guys that hard work pays off, that nothing would fall in their lap and that they worked their asses off to get where they are. They didn't start a Kickstarter to fund their recording, they didn't buy onto tours, they didn't have rich family members giving them money to pursue the career of their dreams. They went to school, worked jobs, saved money and bought all their equipment & studio time themselves. Why? Because they wanted it.

There seems to be more of a sense of entitlement these days, more so than the past. People feel like they should get to be on certain tours, they should get signed to a big name label, they should get to record with a big name producer. I'm happy to say that's the complete opposite of what State Champs are, which makes everything they do stand out so much more to me.

While the resurgence of pop-punk has been a fun and exciting time, it's also had some of its lowest of lows. In the past, it was easy to see Blink, FOB, NFG, Midtown and the like and say they were all the cream of the crop when it came to pop-punk. Now? Not so much. Obviously The Wonder Years are the current kings of pop-punk, but at the same time, they aren't creating the same type of music, they're on a different level for their peers. Set Your Goals have faded into obscurity, Four Year Strong have gone the way of radio rock, Man Overboard are going a slightly different direction, Transit fell off, The Story So Far couldn't follow up. The genre is in full force and falling to pieces at the same time.

This is where State Champs come in. The guys put their all into their debut record, The Finer Things, and it shows. Earlier in the year, I made a hyberbolic claim that I thought their new album would be the new Take This To Your Grave, and while that may be a bit of a stretch for some of us old folks, it's not for the newer generation. There's a time where music hits you, it just doesn't HIT you like it once did. Most of us are at that point in time and age. This isn't to say that we aren't moved, we just don't bond with the music like we use to, when it was our only thing we could rely on. It wouldn't be right for us to listen to a pop-punk record in 2013 and compare it to a classic like TTTYG because it's not going to have that great of an impact on us.

With that being said, however, I do believe this album is the strongest pop-punk album in recent memory (sans The Wonder Years). It's easily Pure Noise Recordsí best release and blows the rest of the competition out of the water. People wondered how the guys would hold up after their Overslept EP and the answer is: Pretty damn good. The growth is there, every one of the guys brought their A-game, Derek's voice is stronger than ever (putting him at the top of vocalists in the genre), everything sounds crisp and all around it just delivers.
I couldn't be more proud of the guys; they should truly be proud of themselves with this. I feel incredibly lucky to work with such talented people and to have the opportunity to call them my good friends. I can't wait to see the response when people finally get to hear this.

This may not be the next TTTYG, but it's definitely going to become one of the classic pop-punk debut albums in the vein of Nothing Gold Can Stay, Save The World, Lose The Girl, Chroma and more. The scene needed a breath of fresh air and that's what this album has done. The warning shots have been fired; State Champs are here, and they're taking gold.
Tags: State Champs
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Why Fall Out Boy's Reunion is More Than Just A Band Returning From Hiatus
02/07/13 at 12:43 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Sure, maybe we're all still riding on the Fall Out Boy high from the band's announcement to come off of hiatus and return to making music and touring as a group once again. But that shouldn't cloud the fact that this could possibly be one of the biggest "comebacks" in modern "rock" music. And while the band's new album is appropriately titled Save Rock and Roll for more of a tongue and cheek punch, there's more truth behind the title than meets the eye.

If you can't remember, let me refresh your memory. Fall Out Boy was easily the biggest band to arise from this little scene of ours (sans Blink 182 and Green day who weren't as tied to the scene imo) and they did it big. You couldn't turn on the radio or TV and not see Fall Out Boy or Pete plastered everywhere. Of course it helped that the "emo" boom was happening and Fall Out Boy were the poster child for the genre, but even with the band's sound changing, they continued to grow. By the time the band released Folie A Duex, which was the band's strongest effort to date, it seemed like the public had been burnt out on the band. Even them being one of my favorite bands, there's only so much you can have forced down your throat.

That's why the hiatus happened and was needed. The guys are the first to admit that they needed a break and a much deserving one at that. And instead of making the mistake that most make in staying together, trying out different things and having it blow up in their face, the guys went and got the experimental bug out of their system with side projects.

Now this may just be a hyperbolic statement on my behalf, but I see this comeback being huge in the grand scale of things. Music is forever changing in every single aspect, but there's one thing that doesn't change - seeing your favorite band on a huge stage putting on a spectacle. This is where Fall Out Boy comes in. Music needs Fall Out Boy. Take a look at the diverse music world we live in, what band transcends multiple genres, makes it look easy and at the end of the day, is still considered a rock band? There isn't one. At least not on Fall Out Boy's level. Who out there is a rock icon like Pete Wentz? I can't think of anyone from this new generation of bands. He's arguably the biggest rock star since Kurt Cobain/Dave Grohl and I'm completely fine with that.

This comeback was done the right way, unlike Blink 182, who are definitely bigger than Fall Out Boy, but failed to go about things in the right way. Sure, things were leaked on to the internet early, but anyone that wasn't on the inside had any clue they would release a new song, announce an album and have a complete tour booked. In the age of instant gratification and Tumblr kids, you need to understand how the new age's brains work. They want it quick and they want it now. Had FOB gone about their comeback like Blink, it would be a big news item, people would be excited but then quickly left in the dark wondering when they would know more. They squashed that notion by putting everything out front in the open and they have seen the overwhelming positive response, regardless if people like the new song or not. The stats don't lie as Jason has pointed out. You give kids a chance to lose excitement or forget and something else has already replaced what they have been looking forward to for 4 years.

There are plenty of other "rock" acts out there that are huge and are doing well (Fun., Neon Trees, Paramore), but even with their best efforts, where has the "alternative rock" genre gone? It's pretty dismal at this point in time. Everything in the mainstream has to have an EDM beat with a sugary pop chorus slapped on top of it because it "feels good." There's a big group of us that don't want "feel good" music, we want the catchy chorus with lyrics full of angst and creativity. And Fall Out Boy are the only ones who can do it to the magnitude that it needs to be.

It's time for Fall Out Boy to reclaim their spot as top dogs in the rock world. And while they may not have the like of TRL helping to push them to the forefront this time around, they've got one of the most dedicated and thriving fan bases I've ever witnessed, foaming at the mouth to see their golden boys back where they belong. 2013 won't just be remembered as the year Fall Out Boy returned and released their best work yet, but it will be remembered as the year they saved rock and roll.
Tags: Fall out boy
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Thursday Discussion
01/17/13 at 12:40 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
With the announcement of Justin Timberlake's new album on Monday, his first album in six years, the topic of releasing quality over quantity was the first topic that seemed to arise (or at least for me). While debating and arguing music is all semantics, there is still something to be said for an artist that can return from their musical hiatus and release high quality material that lives up to their fans expectations, even after so many years. In general, most artists release a new album every two to three years at most, which has worked in the frameworks of the music industry of the past. Build hype, release album, tour said album and then eventually start writing and head back into the studio to begin the process all over again. But in the age of constant gratification, piracy and the ever changing face of music, it seems that artists are pressured into releasing as much material as possible to stay relevant and keep their fan base interested before going the way of the dodo. The conversation of how the internet has changed the way music is made, distributed and presented to the world is one that could be debated for ages with no real solution.

Now this isn't to say that it isn't possible to constantly release high quality material at a frequent and alarming pace, many do it all the time. Kanye West, Portugal. The Man, Olafur Arnolds and more have a steady stream of top notch music, some of the best in their respective genres, that they turn out at what seems to be at a yearly rate. So obviously the notion doesn't stand true for everyone, but for the most part it stands. Which brings up the question, "what makes a long awaited release that much more fulfilling than what you expect on getting every couple years?"

Ultimately, I believe the whole conversation can be summed up to a simple word: passion. When it comes to any form of artistic expression, there needs to be passion, just like anything in life. And with the current state of the music industry, it's understandable and reasonable for people to burn out trying to become the next big thing. Because lets be honest, if you aren't making art because you love it, you're doing it for all the wrong reasons and it shows. This is why the internet was buzzing for days at Timberlake's announcement, because even as busy as the man is, he could have released multiple albums since FutureSex/LoveSounds and done well, I mean he is Justin Timberlake. Difference is, he wasn't going to release music that he didn't believe in, which can't be said for everyone. In that spirit, I've compiled a list of artists (JT included) that live up to that moral standard.

But this type of artistry doesn't work for everyone and it's apparent (especially on AP.net and social media). So I ask, "what do you prefer, constant music that may or may not be an artists best for the sake of staying relevant, or waiting years for something they truly believe is their best work?"

You can check out my list of some of the best, then head to the replies to discuss.

01) Radiohead
NoteWho else would I start off with? Radiohead are the kings of releasing music when they want and how they want. Arguably one of the biggest bands in 30 years? They completely reinvented the way artists release music and have shown that having a label isn't needed when you release top shelf material

02) Brand New
NoteIt's AP.net, what were you expecting? Of course Brand New is included. While they may not have as big of a reach as some of the others, the music world stops and listens when they speak. We're coming up on four years since Daisy and there's still no word if they will even release anything. Yet the thought of them releasing something in a recent viral campaign led to one of the biggest threads on this websites history. That says something.

03) Justin Timberlake
NoteWhen word started spreading that Justin was going to release his first single since 2006, the internet blew up. Of course, we had to wait three days, but three days is nothing compared to the six years prior. The teaser video that was released in anticipation sums up everything I've said in here to a T.

04) Daft Punk
NoteDaft Punk were electronic music before it became trendy. They are the face of electronic music, no matter how many new age DJ's want to try and dethrone them. It's looking like they are going to release their first studio album since 2005 this year and I couldn't be more excited.

05) Fiona Apple
NoteFiona released her first album in seven years in 2012 and it was like she never left. It looked like we were never going to see another release, but alas, she came through and delivered another hauntingly beautiful album to her incredibly solid discography.

06) D'Angelo
NoteThere's no way around it. D'Angelo is one of the greatest R&B/Soul artists of the new generation, hell, of all time. And the man's built that reputation with only TWO releases under his belt. His third album, James River, his first in 13 years is looking to be released this year.

07) GlassJaw
NoteWe're going on 11 years since GlassJaw released Worship and Tribute and the band has only released three EPs in since then. The band has one of the most passionate and endearing fan bases out there, that still follow their every move in hopes of more music

08) Third Eye Blind
NoteI'll be honest, Third Eye Blind wasn't a band that came to mind when I first thought about this piece. Then I started thinking about Ursa Major and how it's been almost four years since that was released. And it took them SIX years to get to that point. They may not be in the mainstream spotlight anymore, but they are still one of the best 90's bands ever.

09) Circle Takes The Square
NoteIt only seemed fair to include CTTS in this considering they released their long awaited second full length late last year after eight years between full lengths. Needless to say, the band delivered arguably some, if not their best work.

10) Godspeed You! Black Emperor
NoteSo technically the band "broke up" for a number of years, to focus on other projects. Which could discredit them from the discussion, but what's the difference of using the word hiatus if you're just going to focus on other projects? If that was the case, I guess you could say Fall Out Boy broke up (just kidding, don't stone me to death). Anyway, the band released their first full length in ten years in 2012 to everyone's surprise and to no one surprise, it was fantastic.

Who would you include in your list?
Tags: TD
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Following Shone
12/26/12 at 02:47 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
It all started on December 21st, 2012 when various artists, management, producers and bands started tweeting a link to www.heatthing.com. Mobile users were directed to a youtube page featuring the same video as the website, but uploaded by Levi Gudmonson (Evil and Good). After searching out the name, we were bought to an obituatry of Levi Gudmundson, who died three years prior to the site being launched. It's also noted that the site has a link to sign up for a mailing list, which once signed up, gave you Brian Lane's (Brand New's drummer) contact.

After the discovery, the youtube account name was changed to Levi Gudmundson (Devil and God). Seemingly sighting back to Brand New's video for their Devil and God campaign, using wordplay. When searching the source code for heatthing.com, images were found saying expires at midnight, which is when new updates have been given nightly.

The audio in the background of the video was reversed and contained "silver and gold. silver and gold. god is in heaven. (indistinguishable)." There was text flashed in the video too:
Text"823 823 823 823823 it has happened many times in my life. i was walking backwards across a parking lot. lighting exi sted acros the pavement e verything else was dark. ni httime. out warm. the proverbail ďsummer night.Ē i walk backwards sl o w l."


Text"and mind f u l of my steps. bArefoot. my toes [???] e a c h st3p. there is An edGe. i stand there, still sdrawkcab, not knowing what is ehinD me. itt will be finished another timeÖ"

Mostly drawing attention to the number 823, which was later tweeted by Matthew Reid who is now known to be involved due to the artwork sent out in the letters (Will get to later).

Then upon further research, a picture was found on Instagram with a CDR that said "Shone 420" which was uploaded by the account - frtwnty. Which was dismissed at first, but later found to be real as Kevin Devine, artists from The Up Studio (Who worked with Brand New) and Jon from Balance and Composure all liked the photo. Someone said that they knew who it was, and said it was Joe, Brand New's guitar tech who has an obsession with the number 420, although doesn't smoke.

When things seemed to be slowing down and people were coming up with various ideas, a Levi Gudmundson twitter appeared, which was questioned when it tweeted this picture, but was later proved real when heatthing.com changed to that image. When searching the source code, this was found:
Text32 notes for 32 friENds tO tell tHe worldS

Further leading us to believe that there are 32 things of relevancy within the picture. When freeze framing the video on the site, another note from "Levi" was discovered:
Texthere are 32 cluEs for 32 frieNds.
OH dear,

we muSt be patient.

y hol y.


Again, hinting at 32 things, but also highlighting letters to spell out Shone backwards. Backwards being a main theme in this whole campaign. After the site being different for 24 hours, Levi tweeted "rewind.rewind.rewind." which took heatthing.com back to the original video, but with different audio this time. When reversed you could hear talking, but it was indistinguishable. You could also hear a woman say something, children and a second or two of some kind of music.

There's a theory that the missing letters in the text flashes are missing to spell out albums, as the letters spell out Daisy.

It's been discussed that there may be a connection to this hymn as it features 420, Shone and Patient but nothing has been established.

Then today (12/26) people started to receive letters from Levi Gudmundson featuring clues numbered to 32 and a piece of Matthew Reid's artwork numbered to 40 (Seems to be irrelevant, just numbering for the actual prints). We're waiting for more letters to surface as we compile them in the original post.
Tags: Shone, heat thing
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Show Preview: Skrillex
10/11/11 at 09:48 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
I know a few people who have seen Skrillex live before and they have spoke of great things but from what I understand just like any live show, you have to experience it for yourself. I caught From First To Last years ago when Sonny was still singing for them but I know this show is going to be totally different and unique in it's own. The site seems to be split on electronic music and I'm hoping more people open up to it because it's a great genre that's easily written off. I personally love Sonny's work but I can see how it's not for everyone. If you've seen him play before leave a comment and let me know what it was like. Until tomorrow I only have videos, so that's what I will leave you with.

Tags: skrillex
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Vans Warped Tour 7/13/2011
07/20/11 at 08:09 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
So the one thing I have learned about The Warped Tour is that no matter how ridiculous I think the lineup may be, the few bands I actually want to see make the experience totally worth it. I went into this year's tour knowing exactly who I wanted to see and having already seen a handful of other bands multiple times my day was pretty much planned out.

I worked the night before into the morning of Warped and left Maine at 6am and made it to the Comcast Center around 11am. Needless to say I was exhuasted but I wasn't going to let that hinder me of having a good time. As soon as I went to get my press pass I ran into fellow AP.net staffer, Christian Wagner. Who I had never personally met before, so that was awesome getting to meet another person I work with on a daily basis. After I got in I went over to The Dangerous Summer's tent to see if any of the guys were hanging yet and got to meet up with their tour manager who was an incredibly nice guy. I had to make quick moves to meet up with Soupy and The Wonder Years because their set time was 12:30pm. So I rushed over to the press area to meet up with Soupy who was nice enough to meet up with one of my best-friends who idolizes him and let us catch their performance on stage as a birthday present. Seeing The Wonder Years live for the first time was definitely something I needed to experience. While The Upsides was a moving record for many, it was just a great record to me. As for Suburbia? I'm in love and the guys live show just proved they are the real deal. The crowd was cheering for TWY before The Ready Set was even off the stage. Which just goes to show how far they have come and how real and true their music is and the connection they have with their fans. You can catch their whole set which Alex caught on tape below (you can see me at a few points, I'm wearing a blue and black plaid).

After that I headed off back to The Dangerous Summer's tent where AJ, Tyler and Bryan were hanging out for awhile. I hung out with the guys for awhile and got to talk for a bit. They mentioned that they may be doing another limited pressing of War Paint in the fall. So be sure to keep an eye out for that. After some shenanigans, I headed out to check out some of the other tents. I finally stumbled across the Keep A Breast tent, which I encourage everyone to stop by and at least say hi to my future wife Christina who is working with them all summer for an awesome cause.

After killing some time I ran over to catch Moving Mountains, who I had seen before in MA but things were definitely different this time around. Not that they were bad before, but they absolutely killed it this time around. Greg's screams have become so defined and the band's as tight as ever musically. They are definitely one of the can't miss bands of this year's Warped Tour. After their set I met up with them at their merch booth and talked to Greg for awhile about the band's plans. He mentioned their upcoming fall tour, which I can't say who they will be supporting, but lets just say AP.net will be in love. He also mentioned wanting to put out some new material before the band's next album, so be sure to keep up to date with everything within the MM camp.

I had to run and catch up with Nick Martin of DRUGS who told me to meet up with him and I could catch their set side stage. So I booked it over to the main stage and got to catch about 10 minutes of Less Than Jake's set, which I wish I could have seen more. But as you probably expected, it was great for the short bit I got to see. Finally I got to see my good friend Craig Owens in action. The weather started to get real cloudy right before DRUGS took the stage and you could tell it was going to open up real soon. The band got to play 3 songs before they had to cut their set short and the rain started to pour. I caught a short video of the guys giving it their all in the downpour, but it's kind of hard to see.

After about 15-20 minutes, the band got the okay to go back on for one more song, which they closed with "If You Think This Song Is About You..." leaving the kids wanting more but still satisfied. They definitely had the biggest crowd of the day at that point in time. Out of all the sets I saw, I would say they put on the best show. No gimmicks, just straight in your face rock, which is how Warped should be.

I had some time to kill so I grabbed some food and got to catch a bit of A Day To Remember's set, which was alright. I wasn't blown away, but then again, it could have been these kids that killed it for me.

I ended up not watching much of their set just because of how big the crowd was and how obnoxious the kids around me were so I headed back over to the Nintendo Stage to catch Dance Gavin Dance with their original lineup. Out of the three times I have seen them perform, this was definitely their best performance. Jonny has stepped up to the plate and brought his A-game because he was spot on and even outdoing his recorded self. Jon's screams sounded a lot stronger as well, overall their performance was top notch and showed why they are as big as they are.

DGD was the last band I caught because I was exhausted and we still had to drive 4 hours back home. Overall, I would say this year was more fun than last year's even if I didn't get to catch as many bands. Even though I missed The Dangerous Summer and Bad Rabbits, all I could hear people talk about was how awesome their sets were. So if you get a chance to catch both of them as well, be sure to do so.

Another year down, another good time. I'm excited for next year's tour, I just hope I can take part in it.
Tags: warped tour, review
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Still in the Christmas spirit?
01/15/11 at 11:43 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
This may or may not kill it......or bring it back for some of you.

Tags: video, fucking weird
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Chiodos - Illuminaudio First Impressions
09/20/10 at 08:10 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
First Listening Impressions

Chiodos - Illuminaudio

Illuminaudio is the track that was released in the initial video, that got everyone stoked for the new tunes. Nice and slow, sets the stage for what's to come.

Caves starts out with heavy drums, so deep and full sounding. This is the first display of Brandon's range on the album, going from his impressive deep screams, falsetto, and harmonies. If anyone was to replace Craig they found the right guy, he can sing like a champ. I could see this being another single down the road.

Love is a Cat From Hell
Love is a Cat From Hell is my leat favorite out of all the songs, but has some sweet guest vocals from Vic (Pierce The Veil)

Modern Wolf Hair
Modern Wolf Hair is another solid track. It's been out awhile so everyone has their thoughts on it already.

Notes in Constellations
Notes in Constellations is a perfect name for the song. A big sound, more experimentation from the band, moving away from the typical post-hardcore sound that they have stuck too. Think of what Dance Gavin Dance did with Happiness but well executed and that's this song.

Scaremonger is fast and in your face. Some impressive screams from Brandon here, still expanding their sound. Also ends with some pretty cool vocal effects, again something new to the mix which rolls perfectly into the next song.

His Story Repeats Itself
His Story Repeats Itself has some signature Hale lines, backed by fierce keys. Brandon's falsetto really shines in a few spots in here. Signature piano lines seem really dominant in this track, one of the main things that made me fall in love with Chiodos in the first place.

Let Us Burn One
Let Us Burn One doesn't really stand out that much until Hale comes in again with his fast picking, reminiscent of old times. Some orchestrated vocals leading to a heavy breakdown, biggest one on the album so far.

Hey Zeus! The Dungeon
Hey Zeus! The Dungeon has the most "Chiodos" sound off the bat. Everything about it sounds like it could have been pulled off BPB. Song is basically a kick to the face. Pretty cool when Brandon drops the word Ghost and its layered over ghastly vocal harmonies. Thought there was a pretty big build up that didn't lead to a huge breakdown, little dissapointed, but it works.

Stratovolcano Mouth
If you were wondering what happened to Thermacare, Stratovolcano Mouth is the new version of it. Lots of screams, heavy from the get go. OKay, this has the breakdown I wanted. Damn that was heavy. Still like Thermacare better, but damn, that was a breakdown and a half. Maybe just because I'm use to hearing Craig's vocals on it, but that was nasty.

Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together
Next is Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together. The one song that has been out for awhile. Still think this was a great single choice. A solid mix of everything Chiodos brings to the table. Features everything that has made Chiodos stand out above every other band in their genre.

Closed Eyes Still Look Forward
Brandon's voice sounds great on this track. Slower to start, piano keys are slowly getting heavier. Electronic beats and soaring vocal melodies, this is really promising. Never really picks up, stays pretty chill, but keeps a sweet closer vibe and brought to an end with a tickling of the keys. Perfect way to end a heavy in your face album.

Even though the essential piece of the band is gone, they found the next best thing. And even though Craig has been the spotlight of the band, Illuminaudio proves that the band can hold their own and they all bring something unique to the table. There is a reason this band is one of the biggest names in the scene and they don't seem to be going anywhere. Musically they have progressed and everything is top notch, it just leaves you wondering how things would be if Craig was still there. I guess we have to wait for the DRUGS record to compare, but until then this will treat everyone just fine.
Tags: Chiodos, first impressions
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Vans Warped Tour 2010: July 13th, 2010
07/16/10 at 03:11 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Being young, I have missed a lot of things in my life. Like the premiere of ďThrillerď, the day the Berlin wall came down and things like crystal Pepsi. But one thing I havenít missed is the rise of pop-punk music and the shape and form the music scene has taken throughout the past decade or so. Which leads me to Warped Tour. An iconic event that has taken place for over ten years now. Starting out as a punk circus and developing into one of the biggest tours across the States every year. When the lineup was announced for this yearís Warped Tour, Iíll admit, I wasnít too impressed. Sure, this year there wasnít the likes of Brokencyde and Millionaires, but there was still a lot of bands that teetered on the edge of being intolerable like those two. But alas, I didnít think I would end up going, so I wasnít too bothered about everything. But then the opportunity arose and I jumped at it, seeing how I needed to experience Warped sometime for myself, reading text and watching videos doesnít do enough justice. This is my first Warped Tour experience and ultimately an unforgettable one.

I would like to think of this Warped Tour as the diamond in the rough tour. You have to sift through a lot of filler bands to really get down to the heart and soul of the tour. Or that is how I felt while I waited outside the gates, patiently standing for the doors to open. Eventually 11am rolled around and the doors opened and kids flew in like a flash flood. I went over to the press tent to get my wrist bands and whatnot and ended up running into a friend I had made from working on AP, Richie Cordaro. He was working the press tent so I got to chat at him for a couple minutes or so and headed off to make my way onto the grounds.

Once on the grounds I could finally relax for a minute after having a 4 hour drive and waiting for an hour on no sleep I was kind of exhausted but still ready for a full day. I made my way through some of the first couple tents like No Sleep Records, which had a bunch of awesome albums and shirts for dirt cheap. Had I brought more money I would of snagged up as much merch as possible from those guys. I made it to the stage grounds and found the times of all the bands and to my surprise The Dillinger Escape Plan had already taken the main stage. Talk about making a run over to catch their set. I bustled my way through kids to catch about half of their set, and I must say, that 15 minutes was all I needed to see. In that 15 minutes the band was all over the stage, jumping off amps throwing things around, kicking their monitors, just using the stage as a battle ground. Few acts can match the intensity and madness of those guys, they are one of the realest bands out there. Talk about having emotion and feeling.

I had a little time to kill so we headed over to the Glamour Kills stage to see The Summer Set perform, but we had got their early so The Cab was playing. Call them a boy band, but they are good at what they do. Alex DeLeon can sing his heart out. They create catchy pop music at itís best. Iím surprised they havenít rocked the airwaves yet. After their set, The Summer Set came on. One of, if not my most anticipated pop bands to play that day. People day Brianís voice is whiney but itís different than everything else out there. I caught the majority of their set, which was tight, everything sounded great and I had to head back to the other stages where I had to make the most difficult decision of the day.

Once I was back to the grounds, I had to choose between 3 bands that have been near and dear to me. I had to choose between Four Year Strong, Every Time I Die and Polar Bear Club. I ended up picking Four Year Strong based on the side of their crowd and the fact that I had recently seen Polar Bear Club at Skatefest. The Worcester boys brought their A-game for the hometown crowd playing a solid mix of the Enemy of The World and Rise or Die Trying. They also played at the peak of the heat, I believe it was hovering around 90 degrees with a smothering amount of humidity on top of that. Boston kids know how to have a good time, especially when itís on of their own. Huge circle pits, tons of crowd surfing, and just good vibes all around. Near the end of their set I had to get out of the circle because I was on the verge of passing out from dehydration. I plowed my way through kids and found a cute girl selling Gatorade. Purchased one and headed back to action as soon as possible. On my travels I caught the last song of ETIDís set, which was simply insane. Made me question if I had made the right choice. I worked my way back to FYSís set and watched as they finished one of the best shows at Warped.

After about dying of heat stroke we went back over to the Glamour Kills stage to catch our hometown boys play, Sparks The Rescue. But before they took the stage, I got to catch Fake Problems which was a pleasant surprise. They put on a completely solid set, just not a lot of kids were really into it, and some were just being down right jerks. But aside from that, they were great. After they finished Sparks came on, repping the 207 the only way they know how to. Out of all the times I have seen Sparks, vocally this was probably their weakest. But it wasnít that bad, just not up to par as usual. On stage though, the guys were insane, high energy and up tempo for their whole set. So glad to see them finally getting the recognition they deserve. I peaced out a little early to head to the press tent to do my interview with The Summer Set. Once I got there I ended up waiting for a bit and interviewed the guys in After Midnight Project and In Fear and Faith, both just awesome down to earth dudes. Finally Brian and Jess got there and I got to interview them as well. Brian is totally humble and easy to talk to and Jess is a sweetheart. If any pop band deserves your love, itís these guys (and girl).

I had some time to kill so I decided to check out some of the tents that were around the grounds. Obviously I hit up the Keep A Breast tent and bought a new wrist band to show my love for what they do. To Write Love On Her Arms were there doing great things as always. Other tents I stopped by were Trojan (yay for free condoms), The Wonka tent, Glamour Kills, and various others. One that stood out all day was the Truth truck. Which was always busy and full of people. They were giving out a bunch of free stuff and information for the people who cared to listen. That was definitely a big hit with a ton of kids throughout the day.

After the interviews and tent searches, we headed back on to the grounds to go catch Emarosa. They played a solid set, Jonny Craig hit the majority of his notes and sounded great. I had heard that he is iffy live, but he pulled it off really well. Here comes my second bone to pick with Lyman or whomever picked set times. I had to choose between The Swellers, Set Your Goals and Motion City Soundtrack. How is anyone supposed to pick between all of these bands? You have a scene staple in MCS, A frontier pop-punk band, and the up and comers. Luckily, I picked Set Your Goals and ended up with the best set of the whole day, 100%, hands down. Everyone in the crowd was amped from the second they started playing ďGaia BleedsĒ and it never faulted. High energy and in your face, just how I like it. I was helping lift kids every two seconds so they could crowd surf, I was running the circle pit, anything and everything I was all over that area. You probably saw me looking like an idiot freaking out, but thatís what music is supposed to do. Make you feel something you canít explain. Set Your Goals reminded me of what pop-punk is supposed to be and the interconnection that it creates within fans, even when they donít know each other. Itís bands like this one that make me realize why I still listen to this music, why it still runs through my veins, and is a part of my every day life. They live to make this music and I live to experience it, and itís that bond which makes everything so powerful and moving. I hope more artists take notes because thatís what you need to thrive in todayís world.

I was completely dead after the SYG set, so I headed back to the Glamour Kills stage, on my way I ended up running into my buddy PJ from Maine, which was also another pleasant surprise. I made my way to the seats and watched VersaEmerge for the third time this year. With every performance Sierra has gotten increasingly better. She dominates the crowd with great front woman skills, reminiscent of the unavoidable comparison, Hayley Williams. Their set was tighter than ever and the new material sounds like itís really in their heads now because they pulled it off amicably.

The last set I ended up seeing was none other than Sum 41. One of my favorite bands growing up that had gotten lost along the threads of time. Well they convinced me to give them a second chance with their short but sweet set. They played basically all of their hits in stellar fashion. It probably helped that there was a high octane crowd as well. But the boys brought it and brought it hard. They even did an awesome cover of The Rolling Stonesí ďPaint it BlackĒ which wasnít something I expected. They closed with ďFat LipĒ which brought me back to my grade school days and reminded me of how much that music shaped who I would be in the future.

In closing, my first Warped Tour experience was one I will never forget. I went into it being a nay-sayer and ended up becoming a believer. When it comes to festivals like this we tend to focus too much on the negative instead of the positives. Sure, there isnít a completely stellar lineup, but then again everyone likes something different and they need to conform to everyone. Focus on what is important to you and you will find something you love. Something that means something to you and makes you realize why music is as important as it is in your life. Warped Tour may not be perfect, but it is a getaway, and thatís fine by me.

NOTE: Truth bears no responsibility for content created by third parties.

All photos belong to Future-Breed. Check out their site, they do great work.
Tags: Warped Tour, Sum 41, Set Your Goals, review, Four Year Strong, VersaEmerge
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Polar Bear Club Interview
05/16/10 at 11:34 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Recently you played Bamboozle, how was that?

It was awesome, it was last weekend and we played at like 2:30ish I think. It was really perfect because it was such a hot day and if we had played at 7 or 6, I donít think anyone would have watched us because they would have been so tired and hot. So I like that middle slot on bigger festivals like that. A band like us, we play a festival like that to get peoples attention. There are people there to see us for sure but most people are there to just check us out. We are there for exposure, I mean there are a core kids who are like "yeah I know Polar Bear Club", but mainly itís for exposure. So that middle slot, people arenít too tired and theyíre patient and open minded and not too grumpy, thatís perfect for us.

I noticed on your myspace that you have an upcoming tour with Moving Mountains, how does that feel for you to be on tour with a band that makes drastically different music than you? And how do the fans react to it?

You know I think weíve done it so much now that theyíre use to it. The only tour that we ever did that made a lot of sense was when we toured Europe with Title Fight and Shook Ones. I mean the bands are still different, but it makes the most sense. Theyíre still in the same ballpark. Normally we play with way different ballparks, like Have Heart and The Gaslight Anthem and everywhere in between. But that tour with Moving Mountains is going to be cool. Itís with Living with Lions and Lemuria and itís different enough but similar enough too so itís not the wildest.

Usually your fans have a broader sense of music then most hardcore kids...

And we like to promote that too. I think itís interesting to see how different bands are similar, then to see all the same bands if that makes any sense. What are the similarities between us and Trapped Under Ice, Four Year Strong and Every Time I Die? Are there any? And how do they fit together? How do you feel going into one into another and another.

Yeah itís nice to get a change of scenery at a show, like when you go to the typical pop punk show and thatís all you get.

Yeah I donít want to see a show where itís all the same thing. Itís like highlighting everything on a page, because then youíve highlighted nothing.

Youíre also playing Warped Tour coming up, are you excited for that?

Yeah, thatís sort of that point of that Moving Mountains tour. I think itís going to be awesome but we have to get to San Diego where Warped Tour starts. Weíre all really excited about it though. Weíre only doing the first month and everyone has been telling us about all this stuff we need to get ready for and all these horror stories and whatnot. But I think weíre mentally ready for it so it wonít be as bad as bands going into it blind and having to experience how hard it is and the schedule. Also there are so many friends on it that even if the shows suck weíre still going to be having fun.

Yeah, itís definitely hard work being out in the sun all day

Yeah, itís going to be worth it but I canít imagine it not being worth it. Youíre outside in the nice weather most days and itís just going to be fun getting to hang out with awesome people all day.

Like you said earlier before the interview, you have been on tour for awhile, how has that effected you? I know you guys have had a non-stop tour schedule up until recently.

Yeah these past two months that weíve had one offs has really only been the off time in awhile. We did Australia then right into Europe and then right into The U.S. about a month each. Itís hard, at times but weíre adjusted to this rollercoaster as clichť as that sounds. But you can definitely have your days where youíre like ďGet me the fuck home!Ē But then when youíre at home youíre like ďGet me the fuck on tour!Ē So you never really win. The best time to be on tour are the first couple days and the best time to be home are the first couple days. If there is too much of either youíre jonsing for the other.

Who have you gotten closest with being on tour? Being with such mixed bands like The Gaslight Anthem and Moving Mountains, which bands have you gotten really close with or consider good friends? Or who do you like to tour with?

When we think of really close band friends we think of Broadway Calls and now even Four Year Strong. They are just some of our best friends in the whole world, oh!, and Set Your Goals and Fireworks. But seriously they are some of our best friends in the world. We get along with everybody, if we do one tour with them we pretty much consider them our best friends. If we have toured with them twice, theyíre like brothers. I think itís safe to say that if weíve toured with them we are pretty good friends. We have never toured with a band where we didnít mesh.

The living Saints video just came out and lots of people really liked it for being different. How was shooting that and how did that all come about?

It was harder for me then for the other guys because itís mainly me. I think we shot three days total. The first day was me and the band and then I went back for two more days by myself. The guy that directed it, Tom Colella is just an old friend of our drummer Emmett. They actually went to high school together. Weíve stayed with him so many times just going through New York City. We knew he did film stuff and he really wanted to get his name out there. So he was like you guys are sorta getting some steam behind you you know, Iíve been thinking about this video, it would be sweet if we could do it together and just help out each other. So he fronted a lot of the money himself and we just blasted it out and honestly I like the video. I love it but with the way that people are I thought a lot more people would of hated it then did you know? Because thatís the way that the internet works. There are a lot of haters out there especially for Polar Bear Club.

Yeah like the kids on AP.net, there are definitely a lot of haters.

Exactly AP, Punknews and Bridge 9, all that stuff and those kids kinda didnít say anything. I was blown away. I normally donít pay attention to that stuff, but when the video came out I wanna see what everyone has to say about this, even the kids who are going to fucking hate it. But those kids were surprisingly quiet, I mean of course there were some here and there but nowhere what I thought there would be.

Yeah, I mean I think most kids on AP generally liked it and thought it was something new.

Yeah, I was really surprised by that, I believe that. I think itís cool and awesome, but I didnít expect as many people to think the way as they did.

I didnít expect it to turn out the way it did at all. When I saw it I was like ďwhoa how much money did they drop on thisĒ because there are some pretty crazy effects that you guys used in that.

There are, and the dude definitely dropped a lot of money and he also pulled some favors too. But he was like you know, Iím losing my ass on this video but I know if we do it 100% itís going to help me and itís going to help you guys as well. We were stoked on it and we were glad that we could do a video that was different.

It definitely stands out from all the other videos out there.

You know most band videos at our level you mostly get the same thing, and some are really good and some are so-so. But some bands are either trying to be funny or something

Like Four Year Strong videos.

Yeah, but those are fun, I like those.

Yeah me too but thatís how they play it off, theyíre fun guys so they can get away doing something like that. Like if you guys tried to do a funny video people would be like "Why are these kids doing this?"

(haha) Yeah, Iím just proud of it. Iím glad we got to do something different and people actually responded to it.

You have released two full lengths in the past two years, is there going to be another this year or do you plan on just touring for now and releasing something next year?

I donít think that it will be out in 2010. Definitely not, because I think we have losely been talking that we want to get into the studio in the winter.

Yeah, just ride out Chasing Hamburg for now?

Not even just Chasing Hamburg, I mean Sometimes Things Just Disappear had been out for awhile but it didnít really get a good push untilÖ

It was what like 6 months before Chasing Hamburg came out

Yeah, so I think we have a little bit more of a leg to stand on with the combination of the both. Weíre going to try ride that out as much as we can, tour our asses off and maybe build up some anticipation for the next one and hope to record in the winter and hopefully have a spring 2011 release maybe. But as soon as we start working on it thatís probably all going to change, and be like no we need to do it later or earlier, but thatís the general outline for now.

At least you have the freedom to do that with Bridge 9, they are pretty loose with that.

Yeah they are, they arenít really egging us on too much to get going on the next one. We have been writing a little bit here and there but weíre going to buckle down in the late summer and in September and do a lot of serious, serious writing and hope to be in the studio this winter.

Speaking of releases, what releases have you been listening to lately or what are you looking forward to? I know The Gaslight Anthem leaked about what, three weeks ago, and itís really good.

Yeah, I have been listening to that a lot, it is really good. Itís that perfect difference. Itís just different enough, those are the songs I like the most. The ones that are a bit more different than The 59 Sound, like the second song, I canít remember what itís called.

Then thereís like "The Diamond Church Street Choir" which kind of has that poppy sound to it.

Yeah, and "Old Haunts", I like that song a lot. So that and the new Against Me! I really like. I just got the new Cancer Bats album and thatís just so awesome. Liamís voice on that album sounds incredible, itís like unstoppable. The guitar player of Shook Ones has a band called Black Breathe that just released a new album. I havenít heard the new one but the old one is called Razor to Oblivion and itís kind of like fast dirty metal hardcore, itís good. Balance and Composure and Tigers Jaw, oh and the new Casualties is really, really good. Oh and Menzingers too. Thereís good releases coming out now and have come out recently.

It just sucks that half of those leaked months early like Gaslight doesnít come out until June.

Yeah same with Against Me! Too yeah.

Have you heard of PlayMPE? Itís a music site that labels are using now to stream their music.

Yeah, I think thatís what Bridge 9 is using.

There was a kid that hacked into it and released a bunch of stuff, so thatís where a lot of this came from.

Thatís such bullshit, itís such a weird thing though. Itís such a grey area almost, because itís downloading and leaks. People ask a lot in interviews, ďWhat do you think about illegal downloading?Ē Well I would be a hypocrite if I said I was against it. You know, but Iím also in a band.

Yeah, the illegal downloads hurt you but at the same time...

Yeah, at the same time Major labels spent a lot of years hurting people with their CD prices and there arenít really that many indie record stores anymore. I think something needs to change and we need to figure out a way to make music buyable again, but I donít foresee that happening, you know?

Yeah, Record Store Day showed that you can make a change, this year had huge sales and a big increase from last year too.

Thereís definitely a core, thatís why early leaks donít really bother me because the way it is now. If someones going to buy your album, they are going to buy it. They know they are going to buy it because itís a principle now. Itís not like the only way to get music, so if people by principle are going to buy your album, they are going to buy it regardless. So anyone who is going to illegally download it would do it on the release date and now they are just doing it months earlier, which probably works out better for your band with the way the climate is now.

Yeah, so they can hear it early and if they like it they can go buy it and if they donít, they werenít going to buy it in the first place.

Yeah, but you know it sucks in the term for smaller record labels and people who put all these plans into marketing and press but I donít see it stopping any time soon.

Have you ever considered recording your cover of "American Hearts" or an EP/LP of covers?

No I donít think we have ever talked about that, although we just saw Piebald at Bamboozle.

How was that by the way?

I actually didnít get to see them but the other guys did. And said it was amazing. I had to leave early but they said it was awesome and everyone was freaking out. It seems like most of the bands we cover are getting back together like The Get Up Kids and Piebald (haha). Cover albums are cool but I personally donít buy them.

Yeah, just keep it to the live show

Yeah, itís sort of like a special thing thatís like youíre here now youíre in this moment, hereís this little thing that will never be anywhere else but here tonightÖ.and the show tomorrow night but youíre not going to be there (hahaha). No, we never really put much thought into doing a cover album. I think we would participate in a tribute compilation or something like that, but those are kind of different.

Definitely not the Punk GoesÖ Series, those are terrible

Yeah definitely, I mean if they were like listenÖ

Weíll throw this at you...

(hahaha) Yeah, you know Iíd have to hear them out for sure. And if they were like we want you to do this song and it was a really good song, weíd think about it. But generally we steer clear of that type of thing.

I mean A Loss For Words is going to release their Mo-Town album, have you heard that yet?

Iíve heard the songs that are online, Maddi is here actually I was talking to him for a bit, He is such a good singer, his voice is awesome. Which is why I back them doing that because he they can back that up really well and actually pull it off, yeah good band for sure.

Being one of the bigger bands out of Rochester, what are your thoughts on the music scene there?

You know, Iím a little bit disconnected from it which is sad to say which is what I grew up doing. But itís changed for sure, because when I started going to hardcore shows I was maybe 16. My hardcore years were probably 16-22 in Rochester and we have a big technology school there, Rochester Institute of Technology. And a lot of kids from bigger cities would come there because it was a good school and it was cheaper than their school in their hometown of Boston or New York. So that was a big carrier of bands of music, that was a huge part of the scene, was the kids at RIT. The kids that came from Boston and New York that were like ďletís check out this bandĒ and then it snowballed and then that band would come to Rochester. I donít know if itís so much like that any more, I mean there are definitely good bands from Rochester right now, Such Gold, Like WolvesÖ

Sakes Alive?

Sakes Alive for sure and some others up and coming that havenít put anything out yet but you will hear of soon. Syracuse as well, we sort of think of the scenes as one because we all were intermingled and went to each others shows and whatnot. Itís definitely different, thereís not as many shows there I donít think but I think itís coming back in a way, its just sad that Iím gone all the time so Iím not really a part of that resurgence. I donít even live in Rochester anymore, I live outside New York City. But itís all peaks and troughs, you know? It was up, up, up for awhile and it was down for awhile and soon it will be up, up, up again and then it will go back down. Itís weird to see how scenes change, Syracuse was a way different scene a couple years ago. It was violent and famous for that. But now itís super positive and fun, with bands like Another Breathe and Forfeit, awesome, awesome bands. Sorry Iím rambling but I think about this a lot.

No worries, keep going

When youíre younger and going to shows you donít think about the temporariness of it. You donít think that it wonít be there and thatís a part of being young, you think itís forever.

Like The Receiving End of SirensÖ

Yeah (haha) and then when it starts changing and maybe even dying out to some people it seems strange. But weíre not going to stop doing Polar Bear Club. I donít know if that made sense or not (haha) but weíre not going to stop playing Rochester and Syracuse.

Do you think that you have influenced bands like Such Gold, Sakes Alive and Like Wolves out of Rochester? And do you think you have helped gain recognition for them because you guys are kind of like the bigger dogs out of Rochester?

I donít know, itís hard for me to say. If you ask them they might say something different. I can say that I would hope that they would view or name, not that weíre a huge big success band but, weíre a bit of a bigger band out of Rochester. I would hope that they would view that in a positive light and not hate on that. And I donít think those bands that you named do at all because I know those guys. Whether or not we influenced them directly or what they think of it I canít say but I hope they view it as a good thing.

What made you guys want to do Polar Bear Club full time?

I think it was combination of things, we kind of have a big age range in our band. Iím 25, our drummer is 30 and our bass player is 22 and everyone else is kind of in between. So I think it was that, ďWeíre getting olderĒ and the window was sort of there to go full time. We sort of had this now or never mentality about it. That was definitely a part of it you know, itís here now if we donít do it weíll regret it letís just do it. And I think also, we had reached everything we could do at a part time level. Thatís something that people in bands not a lot of people talk about or are comfortable is their ambitions. Thatís sort of a fopaux in talking about music. I have ambitions to play in front of a lot people, I think thereís nothing wrong about that. But a lot of people have that idea about ďkeep it punk, keep it smallĒ. So bandís donít really talk about it. But that ambition thing was there for sure. We had capped at a weekend show level, and we were like letís see where we can go and how far we can go as a full time band. So curiosity and ambition, I think were going hand in hand there. Itís definitely had itís ups and downs for sure. But I donít foresee us stopping any time soon. I think weíre all still ďWe can go more places with thisĒ I hope.

You definitely have a sound that is genre bending, so you have the pop punk kids and the hardcore kids.

We do have a fair amount of crossover which probably does help us out on those weird tours.

Is there anything else we should look forward to or what to expect form the band?

I wish could say what the new songs might sound like but we only have a few parts here and there and one song completed. I noticed on Chasing Hamburg I went back and looked back at interviews and stuff I said early on didnít even make sense once the album was out. It all changes.

Itís all relative to the time

Yeah, so just keep your ears open.
Tags: Polar Bear Club, Interview
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Skatefest 2010/ The Receiving End of Sirens Reunion
05/09/10 at 02:38 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Originally when I first got wind of Skatefest I was skeptic because it had been some time since the event had happened and the idea of The Receiving End of Sirens reuniting seemed so unbelievable. Sure it has only been two years since the band completely disbanded, but for someone who grew up listening to and worshiping the band and never had the opportunity to see them was an awful feeling. So when it was confirmed that they would be playing Skatefest with Casey I instantly bought tickets, knowing that I would be there no matter what. There are just some things in life that mean so much to you that others wouldn't understand and I knew that May 8th would be one of those nights for me.

When I finally got to The Palladium it was about 3PM after driving for 2 and a half hours. I walked in to be pleasantly surprised to find All The Day Holiday performing. These guys are still criminally underrated. I figured with the release of their album last year everyone would be all over them but sadly the kids there were more excited and responsive to I See Stars. Just because ATDH doesn't have generic br00tal breakdowns doesn't mean they deserve any less of a response. Their set was basically flawless and left a good impact on a few people that went into the show with an open mind.

Next was I See Stars, who I have to admit isn't anything new or exciting but for what they do they aren't completely terrible. Sure they use auto-tune and have cliche breakdowns and cheesy synth lines throughout their songs but they are all pretty young for the most part and have a lot of energy to their live show. If they continue to push themselves musically and try and move past the musical genre/scene they are in right now they could do something with their music but right now I can't see them being much more than another stagnant band in an ever growing bland scene. I hope that they prove me wrong.

VersaEmerge followed, which I was kind of excited for. I was really big on their Perceptions EP but was curious to hear how they sounded live and how any new songs would sound. Sierra definitely packs a lot of punch to their live show, covering a lot of the stage in little time. A lot of their songs seemed to blend together and not really stand out for me. This isn't to say that they didn't put on a good show, I was impressed with their performance, I just wish they had a more diverse sound to their live show. With that being said the new song sounded pretty good and I plan on giving their new album a few spins when it drops later this year.

Luckily I had an interview with Jimmy of Polar Bear Club at 5:30 so I didn't have to sit through Our Last Night's set. For what I did sit through, it was rough. Sure the band is young but again, it's the same thing every other single heavy band is trying to do out there. There really isn't anything original about them. But I put them in the same boat as I See Stars. They are all still really young and have the ability to become something special if they experiment and break out of the mold that has been made for every band of their kind. Oh, and their screamer? The 18 year old or however old he is? That kid has a set of pipes on him. I may not like their music but I can respect the hell out of that kid because he scream like a champ. Kudos to you bud.

Sadly because of my interview I had to miss out on basically all of Moving Mountains set which was one of the bands I was really looking forward to. I got to catch a few songs in between waiting and going to meet up with Jimmy. It sounded great and people seemed to be digging it which was even better. Hopefully I get to see these boys soon because it has been way overdue.

5:30 rolled around and I met up with Jimmy and we headed out to his van to do the interview. Was one of the highlights of my night getting to talk to him, probably next to meeting Casey. Completely down to earth, honest and just downright passionate about music. In all honesty talking to him it was like I had known him for ages. The man is well spoken, calm and collected. Couldn't have asked for a better man to interview. I can't thank him enough for taking the time out of his day to sit down and just chat for a solid half hour. Expect to see the interview in about a week.

After the interview I headed back inside to catch Envy on The Coast tearing up the main stage hard. New songs and old, they killed all of them. You want a band that was on top of their game, it was EOTC. Ryan sounded fantastic and the energy of the crowd was ecstatic. The band has always been great but this was probably the best I have ever seen them and that only shows more promise for the future. This is one of the brightest bands in the scene right now, if you haven't jumped on them yet, you probably should.

Finally one of the other moments I had been waiting for, a moment that has been years in the making. I finally got to witness The Dear Hunter live. Crazy right? One of Casey's biggest fan-boys had never seen the man live. Every time the band came close to me I either couldn't make it or they had to cancel. Everything was perfect, Casey even though feeling a little sick nailed every note and the band killed the songs. Personally I thought they were even better than record which isn't an easy feat. Maybe that was just how I felt because it had been such a long time coming and I had finally got to experience something I have wanted to bad. After playing a good mix of all the albums, they closed with their cover of The Beatles classic "Happiness is a Warm Gun" which couldn't have been any better. I don't get how anyone couldn't like Casey or the music he makes, the man is just a genius in his own right. There aren't enough words to explain how much the man has changed my life with his music.

After I made my way up to the second stage to catch Polar Bear Club for an awesome intimate set. When I talked to Jimmy he said he was stoked to play the second stage because they had been playing bigger stages for awhile so they were glad to have the small more intimate crowd and that was exactly what happened. The band and the crowd were basically in unison, every motion was full of energy and craziness. Kids stage diving, Jimmy incorporating the crowd into the mix, and everything else in between. Even Dan of Four Year Strong sat in on the side to watch their high energy set. My only problem was I wish Jimmy's vocals had been turned up a tad bit, but other than that the band was awesome and brought Skatefest to their knees.

Then the wait started, with that wait came Vanna. Now I don't want to sound like a hater but this band has been doing the same thing over and over and over. Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like Massachusetts kids worship these guys for who knows why. I mean I can definitely think of worse bands out there but there is just nothing original to them. So I had to sit through their half hour set or however long it was (felt like an eternity). Once it over the feeling that rushed through my body was unexplainable.

Finally, the moment that everyone in the place had been waiting for. I rushed down to the floor passing all of the Vanna kids trying to get as close as I possibly could. While the band started setting up it also felt like forever but once the band started the crowd erupted. This was The Receiving End of Sirens biggest show in 2 years since they disbanded and it couldn't have been any more perfect. As they broke into "Planning A Prison Break" the crowd went wild as if they had never been gone. Alex actually ended up getting hit in the face by Brian while they were playing and busted his face open which was pretty ridiculous but once he got cleaned up they were right back at it. They played an awesome mix of both albums although I wish they played Between The Heart And The Synapse from front to back. Casey played keys on all of the Mi Fa Mi songs which was a nice change of pace. The crowds energy went unmatched, the only thing I have ever seen close to it was at Brand New which says a lot about how important this band is to it's fans and how much impact they had on the New England music scene even the scene as a whole. I can't remember the exact setlist, I will edit it in later but they did an encore of "Swallow People Whole" followed by "Broadcast Quality" which couldn't have ended the night on a better note. Everyone there knew every word and poured out emotion for the whole set. Blood, sweat and tears were left all over The Palladium last night and nobody would want it any other way. Last night was one of those nights that you will remember forever, and know that you were a part of something special that can't be replicated no matter how many times they decide to do a reunion show or tour again. You can try an explain it to someone who wasn't there but it just won't hit them the same way, and that's what music is all about. You never realize how much you miss something until it's gone, and then when you get the chance to have it back you make sure you experience it to the fullest because it could never be there again.

All pictures belong to Future-Breed be sure to check them out and show some love because they do a great job.
Tags: Skatefest, the receiving end of sirens, all the day holiday, vanna, envy on the coast
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You Me At Six Interview
05/02/10 at 01:18 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
My interview with You Me At Six.

Our current scene seems to be too swamped with wannabe hardcore kids decked out in neon to really make way for an foreign bands. With the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Enter Shikari, You Me At Six are trying to become a staple in both, the American scene and the UK scene. Time will only tell what's in store for these young British lads, but all signs seem to be pointing in the right direction for them.


In a period where music is so oversaturated and easily attainable, what is it like in this scene trying to make the crossover from the UK
to America?

It is a tough time for any band to even get noticed these days I would say, so many bands trying to make it in the same genre. You have to work so hard to get noticed and you have to keep following all your work up with something else so people are recognizing you as a band, then hopefully the buzz will start to transfer to America and you can follow it up by touring there.

What do you think is the biggest difference is between the UK music scene and the USA, and which do you prefer?

The biggest difference is that I do believe a lot more of the American bands get more noticed than the UK bands, but thatís because there is so much more coming out of America than the UK, but there is good music coming out of the UK but it needs to be noticed more. I'm really happy of what we have achieved and were we came from so I would say I prefer the UK scene.

What has been your best/worst tour experience thus far? (In either UK or USA)

Worst tour experience was when Josh (vocals) caught laryngitis on the AP tour and we had to cancel out of 5 or 6 shows, we have never had to cancel shows before so this was a major bummer for us.

How did getting to #5 in the UK charts Feel?

Incredible, we didn't expect to get a top 5 album at all. Our label said to us they were aiming for this but we were all like whatever we
arenít fuzzed if we do or don't, but when we found out we were all so stoked on how well it had achieved and all the hard work we put into this CD really paid off.

What made you choose "Liquid Confidence" as a single?

Just because it's coming up to the summer, I think people need to hear these kind of songs before the seasons move and it gets people in the right mood for summer time, I think it's also a great follow up to our previous single "Underdog" what was catchy rock pop, I think this song falls down that same market.

What would you say was the biggest difference in recording Hold Me Down compared to Take Off Your Colours?

Well we had a lot more time in the studio this time what helped us out, we could spend time on making the sounds more natural, making sure that parts of songs flowed well with each other, and the best thing was that we recorded it at the same place as the TOYC in Outhouse Studios in Reading UK, working with the same people who knew what our goal was and knew how we wanted the CD to sound was definitely an added bonus. We added little things into the sounds like percussion what made the sound feel full and hit home when you listen to it, where when we did TOYC we had 2 weeks in the studio and it was a very rushed CD.

Is there a status update on Hold Me Down's physical release in the U.S.?

Yeah there will be a bundle release of the CD just before we hit Warped tour, so check that out date should be up soon!

What are your thoughts on being a band that is now to the point where they are influencing the sound of other bands? examples: Futures, Kids in Glass Houses.

It's weird because I think all the UK acts vibe of each other and there music I wouldn't say its really influencing, we've known both of those bands for a while now and we all love what everyone does I think we all just drive ourselves to write the best music possible, even if it is in the same genre, there are lots of bands like us who have inspired us to write music such as The Starting Line, New Found Glory, etc what does influence us!

Your admiration for Brand New has been well documented even paying homage to their lyrics in one of your songs, Brand New also deserted the pop-punk direction in album 3, can you see your band doing the same thing, and taking a more experimental direction?

Yeah like Brand New is one of the bands favorite bands, I think we need to do something big and different for the next CD, I don't want to stay the same musically because it would get boring for our fans to hear recycled songs just put onto another CD, they deserve something a bit different and exciting to listen to, even if it does loose some of the bands original feeling but if the fans like it and still has a connection that's what matters.

If you could tour with anyone in music right now, who would it be?

I would love to tour with Death Cab For Cutie, they are an awesome band, write great songs and are great live, saw them a few years ago and they blew me away.

Do you have any other tour plans lined up after The Warped Tour?

We are trying to plan tours in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, America and the UK again all before the end of the year so keep eyes peeled for another tour hopefully in the states in the fall time.

What can we expect from You Me At Six in the future?

A new CD but when it comes out will be a different case, lots of touring and having a good time wherever we are, we are enjoying what we have right now because it doesn't happen to any band from the UK so we are just happy to be doing what we really love doing and want to build up and progress on it!

Additional LinksMyspace - iTunes - AP.Net Profile
Tags: You Me At Six, Interview
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P.O.S. and Astronautalis Backstage Sessions
04/13/10 at 05:47 PM by Keagan Ilvonen

Tags: p.o.s., astronautalis, backstage sessions
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Guitar for sale
04/05/10 at 12:38 AM by Keagan Ilvonen
I'm selling my Yamaha guitar out of college brokeness.

Looking for $350 with the strap which is from Germany. Shoot me a PM or email if you're interested.
Tags: for sale, guitar
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First Impression: The Young Veins - Take A Vacation!
03/25/10 at 10:40 PM by Keagan Ilvonen
Where should I begin with this one? I realize Ryan wanted to go and make his retro, Beatles inspired music but reality needs to slap him in the face because there is a difference between incorporating an influence and letting it dominate your music. When they released their first song through Spin, I was kind of caught off guard. It was faster and upbeat and showcased a good spot musically where the band could have some success. Granted, the lyrics were lacking and Ryan's voice is definitely less than stellar, I was willing to give them a shot. I wish I had gone with my initial instinct. Take A Vacation! is nothing but a pain to sit through as an album. At first you get what you expect, a modern band influenced and making retro music, but once you get 3 or 4 songs in? NOTHING CHANGES. The album is the same damn thing from front to back. Now musically there isn't anything wrong here, although it sounds like the scraps from Pretty.Odd. Ryan's voice is far too weak to even carry half of these songs. The lyrics are at most laughable, comparing to a 5th graders diary. For example, "Other Girl", "Don't wait around for love, You're not what he's thinking of/ When he's with the other girl, don't bother waiting up cuz he, he's not where he's suppose to be/ When he's with the other girl, When he's with the other girl."

I really don't know what to say about this album other than if you want a weak Pretty.Odd. then have at it. If you are a fan of Urie's vocals and liked the different areas Panic! explored on their last album then stay away from this.
Tags: First Impression, The Young Veins
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