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.
If you’re going to Make Warped Tour Great Again, and bring it back to its roots, you can’t do it without Less Than Jake.
Words by JJ Ellis
Photos by Jamie Heim & 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.
Just like two years ago when I talked to Joel Pastuszak (guitars) about their then-new album Void, we have a new release upon us, All Hell.
Of course, we talk about the new album, but also his charity work, music videos with overly expensive cameras, how to avoid the heat and why he doesn’t cut peoples’ hair on the tour anymore.
Words by: JJ Ellis
Photos by: Henry Chung, 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.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Kevin Bivona, their guitarist and the oldest of the Bivona brothers (Justin is on bass, Jesse is on drums). Rounding out the band on vocals is Aimee Interrupter.
We covered a lot of territory on this one: from working with Tim Armstrong, collaborations, getting your songs in ads, to what Jesse Michaels is up to and most importantly, what podcasts they listen to on those long drives.
Kevin was a great guy to talk to. Say It Out Loud has already found a place among my favorite albums released so far in 2016 and they throw a fun, energetic live show. Briefly meeting the rest of the band at their merch tent later in the evening confirmed that they are all good people who deserve your support.
Words by: JJ Ellis
Photos by: Jamie Heim, Henry Chung
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since exploding into the scene, The Used’s gut wrenching lyrics and melodies that blended pop sensibilities and hard rock was the perfect storm that helped shaped the alternative-rock scene for years to come.
Tuesday night marked day 1 of The Used’s 15yr Anniversary Tour. Due to high demand, the 2-day show was moved from the Trocadero theater to the Electric Factory.