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Interview: Bombpops at the Voltage Lounge

5/22/17 – The Voltage Lounge was host to Red City Radio, The Bombpops and Russian Girlfriends as they stopped in Philadelphia as a part of their huge national tour.  The tiny club offered a no-frills setting though the narrow space upstairs held the merch and additional vantage points.  For those of us who stayed on the floor, it was an intimate event.

Continue reading Interview: Bombpops at the Voltage Lounge

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Exclusive: Maximalism With Olof of Amaranthe

Standing outside the venue of Reading, PA’s Reverb, the moon slowly peeks up over the hills. It’s 28ºF outside and the line is beginning to wrap around the building. Some passerby might wonder why anybody would subject themselves to sub-freezing temperatures just to wait in line. Well, the answer is simple. This is the final night of Amaranthe’s Maximalism USA/ Canada tour. Continue reading Exclusive: Maximalism With Olof of Amaranthe

Oliver Withöft (1964-2014) [Co-Owner of Century Media]

Oliver Withöft

Oliver Withöft, co-owner of independent record label Century Media, passed away on January 20, 2014 after falling ill several months ago. He was 49.

Born in Dortmund, Germany in 1964, Withöft studied linguistics, business and history in both Germany and the U.K. Robert Kampf started Century Media Records 25 years ago simply to create a suitable label home for his own band, Despair. He was looking for a trustworthy and strong partner to lead the company with and found this person in his best friend and fellow musician Oliver Withöft, who joined the company eighteen months later, sharing the same love and passion for music, and metal in particular. Since that very day, these two friends developed one of the most important independent record labels on the planet. Today the company has around 100 people on payroll in Dortmund, London, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Melbourne and the Netherlands. A lot of musical careers were developed over the years: Lacuna Coil, Shadows Fall, Suicide Silence, In This Moment, Otherwise, Iced Earth, Die Broilers, Arch Enemy and Heaven Shall Burn are just a few of them. Century Media became a brand name recognized across the world. Oliver Withöft was always the strategic, legal and financial mind behind the organization. He was not only a strong fighter for the company, but also a very intelligent and forward-thinking leader. When the music industry drastically changed in the ’90s, he was the first to think about new ways to adapt to the needs and challenges of the rapidly-changing market. We have lost a great man with an amazing sense of humor, a warrior, and an overall very human being. Oliver leaves behind a wife, Judith, and their three daughters.

Antje Lange, CEO of Century Media Records: “I learned a lot from him in regards to business, the world and life. He was an extremely smart and visionary business man who cared a lot about the people working for him. He was one of the most open-minded and knowledgeable persons I have ever met. Oliver was responsible for a lot of successful artists’ careers and an impressive amount of albums that had an impact in the music world. It has never been easy  for him, but he was a strong fighter. A great man with an amazing sense of humor whose departure leaves a large gap in our lives.”

Ula Gehret, who handles business affairs for Century Media Records with his company Clandestine: “He had a razor-sharp intellect and keen business acumen, and as a number of people can attest to, he was not someone you wanted to be sitting across from at a negotiating table. After a few years at the label, he introduced me to how legal contracts worked. Eventually, with training, that became my full-time occupation.  It is no exaggeration to say that without his tutelage and patience, I would not be where I am today, doing something I love, and with principle. He was my mentor.”

Oliver was a very special person who touched many people’s lives in a positive and special way. This is a tremendous loss for all who knew him and it will take some time for us to grieve the passing of such a great person.

“Oliver was always a winner, one of those that I somehow thought would live forever. A genius, a friend and the best advisor I’ve ever had. It was all him behind the scenes.”
–Kobi Farhi, Orphaned Land

“Oliver and Robert had the guts, trust and belief to sign us when we were just a bunch of kids trying to play metal. Without these guys, I doubt we would be where we are today. He was not the easiest to work with back in the day, but a very cool guy.”
–Ola Lindgren, Grave

Photographer Ryan Russell to Release “Continental Obscura” on April 8th

NylonMag.com Reveals Cover and Photos From Russell’s New Photography Book

“Ryan is one of the greatest photographers working today.” – Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie)
“Ryan is an exceptional talent.” – Hayley Williams (Paramore)

Celebrated rock photographer Ryan Russell has announced plans to release his first travel photography book, “Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham,” on April 8th via No Sleep Records. Fans are invited to pre-order the limited edition book now from No Sleep at http://bit.ly/1arfNRb.

In anticipation of the upcoming release, NylonMag.com has revealed a selection of photos, which can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1hPbazM.

Known best for his ability to brilliantly capture timeless photos of some of rock’s biggest acts, from Death Cab For Cutie and Against Me! to Paramore and Blink-182, Russell recently tackled a different subject entirely for “Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham.”  In the summer of 2013 he embarked on a life-changing, cross-country journey, moving from his native city of Birmingham, AL to the Pacific Northwest town of Bellingham, WA.  Russell documented his trip, capturing the back roads, ghost towns, national parks and historical sites of America with stunning photos of everything he saw.

“Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham” will also include an exclusive 7” vinyl record featuring rare unreleased B-sides from Manchester Orchestra and Minus the Bear, two bands that Russell has shot extensively over the last several years.

“Ryan is one of those rare photographers that can truly put you at ease while he takes superb and entirely honest photos,” says Cory Murchy of Minus the Bear.  “A master at capturing the most fleeting and candid of moments, we always look forward to working with him so we were extremely honored to be asked to be apart of this project.”

Follow Russell at http://instagram.com/ryanrussell and continentalobscura.com for more information regarding the release of “Continental Obscura: From Birmingham to Bellingham.”

About Ryan Russell:
Russell was born and raised in the Deep South town of Birmingham, where he found an eye for photography at a young age.  His style embraces predecessors of southern culture like William Eggleston and Ernest Withers as well as personal influences like Glen E. Friedman and Charles Peterson to create a bold new take on classic southern gothic photography.  Russell captures the grit and energy of today’s American music scene much like Lee Friedlander’s work for Atlantic Records in the 50’s and 60’s or Anton Corbijn’s work with U2 and Joy Division in the 80’s.  Today, Russell is a well sought after photographer who has worked with bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Paramore,  Patton Oswalt, My Chemical Romance, Green Day and Blink-182 and his photographs have appeared in such periodicals as Rolling Stone, Spin, Esquire, Playboy and New York Times.

7”  Track List:
1. Manchester Orchestra
Sure Shot (unreleased 2009 track)
2. Minus the Bear
Surf-n-Turf (rare b-side)

Photos: Manbeast Shows Their Fury, Fake Cult Drinks the Punch and War Emblem Ignites Nancy Run Fire Co.

Fake Cult ©2013 Jamie Heim 06

Right out of the gates, Manbeast launched into a frenzy of hardcore powerviolence. Opening the night off with with a set consisting of mostly brand new material, the trio (Eric, Luis & Tyler) played to a still gathering crowd of local enthusiasts.

Fake Cult ©2013 Jamie Heim 03

There were two bands this evening that was calling it quits. Fake Cult was the first one and the guys played their hearts out. The crowd screamed along one last time as they said their goodbyes.

War Emblem ©2013 Jamie Heim 01

Philly’s War Emblem came to the LV and brought with them their brand of brash hardcore.

The Ataris Announce ‘So Long, Astoria’ Reunion Tour

Ataris-logo

For the first time in a decade, the classic lineup of The Ataris will reconvene to perform their million-selling album, So Long, Astoria, in its entirety from start to finish.  For one tour only, Kristopher Roe, Mike Davenport, Chris Knapp and John Collura will share the stage to celebrate their beloved album, performing fan-favorite hits like “So Long, Astoria,” “The Saddest Song” and their iconic version of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer.”  Support will include: Authority ZeroDrag The RiverVersus The World and Gasoline Heart. Tickets for the upcoming tour will go on sale to the public on December 20th.

In conjunction with today’s tour announcement, The Ataris has released part one of a new mini-documentary about the band’s reunion and the making of So Long, Astoria.  Watch it now, exclusively at Billboard.com:http://bit.ly/1dkWcOE.

Formed in 1996, The Ataris went on to sell hundreds of thousands of albums on small independent label Kung Fu Records before signing to Columbia Records in 2001.  In 2003, the band released their career-defining album, So Long, Astoria, which sold over a million copies and spawned the hits, “In this Diary,” “The Saddest Song” and “Boys of Summer.”

After headlining multiple Warped Tours and selling out major tours of their own, the classic line-up of The Ataris disbanded in 2004, leaving behind a legacy of influence and rock-radio anthems that still live on today.

A decade later, that lineup will reunite for one tour to celebrate So Long, Astoria, an album that helped redefine punk rock in the early 2000’s with vivid confessionals and melodic heartfelt sing-alongs.

“I’m looking forward to going out and bringing these songs to a crowd and really giving it our all, and hopefully bringing some of these fun memories back to our fans,” singer/guitarist Kristopher Roe says.  “I really feel like the most important thing is to be reconnected with three of my old best friends. I’m excited to go out and make music with them again.”

“It’s a lot of nostalgia to come back and do this tour,” guitarist John Collura adds.  “It’s a celebration of what the four of us accomplished as a band.”

“This tour, for me, means more of redemption,” concludes bassist Mike Davenport.  “Us four reunited again, performing what I think is one of our best albums.”

“I haven’t seen these guys in forever,” drummer Chris Knapp says.  “It’s going to be crazy.”

The Ataris’ So Long, Astoria Reunion Tour Dates:
Feb 28 – Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock (w/Versus The World)
March 1 – Las Vegas, NV – Backstage Bar (w/Versus The World)
March 2 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s (w/Versus The World)
March 3 – San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brewing Company (w/Versus The World)
March 5 – Los Angeles, CA – House of Blues (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 6 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 7 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 8 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 11 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 12 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox at the Market (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 13 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 14 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue (Club Sound) (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 15 – Denver, CO – The Summit Music Hall (w/Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 16 – Kansas City, MO – Riot Room (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 18 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Versus The World)
March 20 – Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 21 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 22 – Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 23 – Detroit, MI – The Shelter (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 24 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 25 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 27 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 28 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 29 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)
March 30 – New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre (w/Authority Zero, Drag The River, Gasoline Heart)

For More Information:
https://www.facebook.com/theataris
https://twitter.com/theataris (@theataris)

Throwdown Announces New Album: ‘Intolerance’

Throwdown_Logo

Legendary Southern California metal act, THROWDOWN, are set to release “Intolerance” on January 21, 2014. The new LP will be their first since “Deathless” was released back in 2009. Frontman Dave Peters weighs in on the announcement:

“Completing this record felt great in so many respects, most important of which was the opportunity to finally give longtime supporters of the band this music that I’ve had swirling around in my head over the past four years. 

The variety of people from different places and scenes, who have found the band through vastly different avenues over the past 15 or so years, will each get into it for their own unique reasons I think. 

And for those who think it’s junk, it’s only about 28 minutes they have to regret.”

Intolerance” combines the massive production punch of the moody, sludgy and powerfully diverse masterpiece “Deathless” (which spawned the Sirius XM staples “This Continuum” and “The Scythe”) with the focused resolve of the band’s genre-classic-filled back catalog.

The big sound that developed on “Deathless” works magic upon the brutal missives found all over “Intolerance,” nearly all of which clock in around 2 minutes. “Deathless” and “Vendetta” collaborator Zeuss (Hatebreed, Crowbar, Demon Hunter) returned to mix the new record.

A cornerstone of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, Throwdown have earned hard-fought accolades from the likes of Revolver and Metal Hammer magazines, who likened the stomp of “Venom & Tears” to Pantera. Following Dave Peters switch from guitar to vocals over twelve years ago, the band delivered the songs from “Haymaker,” “Vendetta” and “Venom & Tears” on celebrated tours with Lamb Of God, Killswitch Engage, Machine Head, In Flames, Korn, Fear Factory and Cavalera Conspiracy and at major festivals around the globe, like Download UK.

Drummer Jarrod Alexander (American Nightmare, Suicide File, My Chemical Romance) made his first recorded appearance with Throwdown on “Haymaker,” returning as a session player again for “Deathless” and the brand new album, “Intolerance.”

The new album was recorded at Hurley Recordings in Costa Mesa, California with rising producer Davey Warsop and mixed at Planet Z. “Intolerance” features guitar solo contributions from Dave Nassie (Bleeding Through, No Use For A Name, Infectious Grooves), who joined Throwdown’s recent touring lineup alongside Demon Hunter drummer Tim “Yogi” Watts and “Deathless” era bassist Mark Mitchell.