Exclusive Interview: Less Than Jake

Photo by Jamie Heim
Photo by Jamie Heim

A few years ago, Henry and a mutual friend conducted an interview with Buddy (trombone) of Less Than Jake written by me. In a lot of ways, even though I had never spoken to Chris (guitar and vocals), this felt like a follow-up. They didn’t have a lot to report in terms of new developments, but we dove into the election theme of their Warped shows, why they have been putting out some of their best work lately, possible future ways they will be releasing music, releasing a live album…. that was recorded 15 years earlier and their 5th annual Wake and Bake Festival in Gainesville, FL. Continue reading Exclusive Interview: Less Than Jake

Exclusive Interview: Every Time I Die (2016)

Photo by Henry Chung
Photo by Henry Chung

In 2014, Every Time I Die released my favorite album of that year, From Parts Unknown. The follow-up has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, it’s recorded and almost ready to go. Continue reading Exclusive Interview: Every Time I Die (2016)

Exclusive Interview: Davey Muise of Vanna

Photo by Henry Chung
Photo by Henry Chung

Davey Muise (vocals) is a very in-demand person for interviews. Despite this, he is a really friendly and talkative fellow and there was plenty to talk about. Vanna has been on every other Warped Tour since 2010 and more or less have it down to a science. Continue reading Exclusive Interview: Davey Muise of Vanna

Exclusive Interview: The Interrupters

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Photo by Jamie Heim

The Interrupters are a four-piece ska band from Los Angeles. They have been around since 2011 and their second full-length Say It Out Loud (Hellcat Records) was released just in time for their first trek on Warped Tour. Continue reading Exclusive Interview: The Interrupters

Square of Opposition Records and Double Decker Records Anniversary Fest

On July 15th – 17th, local Lehigh Valley mainstays Double Decker Records and Square of Opposition Records celebrate 20 years and 15 years (respectively) the only way they know how by throwing a 3-day long diy, punk, hardcore, power-violence fest featuring some of the best that’s ever came out of the Lehigh Valley!!

The event will take place at Merchant Square Mall (right off of I-78) right where they have flea markets and wrestling matches (for this unfamiliar with the area, yes, this our thing and it’s awesome.)

Continue reading Square of Opposition Records and Double Decker Records Anniversary Fest

The Taste of Chaos, and the Taste of Bitter Cold

June 9th, Thursday – Since 2005, The Taste of Chaos Tour has always been the stepping stone for many post-hardcore acts. Unfortunately in 2010, t’s founders decided to retire the tour and replace it with the Uproar Festival which featured a more prominent metal sound. But with a successful run in 2015, the Taste of Chaos Tour returns with The Early November, Saosin, Taking Back Sunday and closing the night off was Dashboard Confessional.

Unbeknownst to me today was that Patent Pending, along with a local act, as opening today’s show.

Continue reading The Taste of Chaos, and the Taste of Bitter Cold

My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult at the Gin Mill Bar & Grille

Amid the satanic panic moral hysteria of the late 80s, Wax Trax! Records luminaries My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult emerged as the eminent scourge of knee-jerk, misguided parents and overzealous censorship groups across America, unleashing un-holy terror with thumping, tongue-in-cheek, sample-heavy sound collage noise anthems about drugs, BDSM-tinged sex and faux occultism.

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Photo By: Steve Topp

Nearly 30 years have passed since those heady days, and although the Thrill Kill Kult may no longer be the potent force of corruption they once were, the campy, kitschy, b-movie horror sleaze they peddled with classic albums I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits, Kooler Than Jesus, and Confessions of a Knife is as gleefully alive as ever.

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Photo By: Steve Topp

They made this abundantly clear to a small but enthusiastic Lehigh Valley crowd on Thursday, June 9, when Northampton served as the unlikely first stop on the northeast leg of the band’s Elektrik Messiah Show tour.

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Photo By: Adrianna Gober

Slinking on stage one by one, co-founder and Chairman of the Beat, Buzz McCoy, lead the way, taking his place at an elevated synth station at the back of the stage where he oversaw the night’s proceedings. Guitarist Westin Halvorson and bassist Mimi Star soon followed, and as a triggered sample of a man’s voice dully intoning about witchcraft filled the room, the trio exploded into “Witchpunkrockstar,” the opening track from 2009’s over-the-top Death Threat. It wasn’t until halfway through the song that co-founder, frontman and sleaze ambassador Groovie Mann crept onto the stage from out the darkness.

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Photo By: Steve Topp

Dressed nearly head-to-toe in leather with various gold accoutrements decorating his neck and knuckles, Mann stalked the stage like a man possessed, preening menacingly and camping it up to the absolute delight of a increasingly fired up crowd. Flanked on either side by Halvorson and Star, Mann growled his way through a relentlessly fast-paced set, including industrial dance staples “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan,” “Kooler Than Jesus,” “Sex on Wheelz” and “After the Flesh”. Especially entertaining were Mann’s provocative, sexually-charged antics with guitarist Halvorson, enacting a display that would not be chaperone-approved. With a non-stop, high powered set and McCoy acting as devilish hype man from his synthesizer pulpit, it didn’t take long for the Kult to whip the crowd into a limb-flailing frenzy.

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Photo By: Steve Topp

By the time the band reached the end of their set, Mann had lost his shirt and draped himself across the monitors, pawing at the adoring faithful at the front. Those not being gladly and willingly victimized danced with shameless abandon, engulfed by a pummeling wave of bass and distortion as the band tore through a deranged version of “Electrical Soul Wish,” to close out their set. Sweat drenched and satisfied, the band and the crowd disbursed to mingle at the bar, or to make their way out into the night.

Photos By: Steve Topp
Words By: Adrianna Gober

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