Tag Archives: Billboard

We Came As Romans Release New Single “Tear It Down”

Photo from Billboard.com
Photo from Billboard.com

We Came As Romans premiered their new single “Tear It Down” on Billboard yesterday, and it turns out there is a long and turbulent story behind it and the rest of the new album. In the accompanying interview, vocalist Dave Stephens recounts how the band’s producer for this record, David Bendeth (Breaking Benjamin, Paramore, Papa Roach), tore their initial ideas to pieces. The result is a sound that blends metalcore with nu metal and gives extra attention to Stephens’ melodic vocals; a role for which he spent a lot of time preparing. Of his new vocal coach, Stephens says:

She made me do things like get on my knees and sing with my entire back and butt and feet against the wall and show me all kinds of strange things to show me how to sing properly — not to mention practicing two to three hours a day. But it worked; my range improved, my tone improved.

WCAR have also switched up their writing style in terms of lyricism for their upcoming self-titled work. “Tear It Down” represents a new phase in which the band isn’t afraid to shy away from their stubbornly positive words of the past:

We used to think we had to write positively about change; on this record we realized that to point out something negative or that we don’t like or makes you angry doesn’t mean positive change can’t happen.

Check out the rest of the Billboard interview here and go ahead and put “Tear It Down” on repeat. Trust us.

Blessthefall Announce New Album ‘To Those Left Behind’

to those left behindMetalcore titans Blessthefall have just announced the title and the date of release for their fifth full-length record. The album, To Those Left Behind, will be available via Fearless Records on September 18th. The band will also be playing the Vans Warped Tour main stage this summer, as they ride the success of their last album, Hollow Bodies, which came in at No. 1 on the Hard Rock Charts and No. 15 on Billboard’s Top 200.

No new singles have been released as of yet, but while you count down the seconds, remind yourself of what chart-topping Blessthefall sounds like with the title track of their last record.

 

VIDEO PREMIERE: Of Mice & Men “Broken Generation”

In an exclusive with Billboard, Of Mice & Men premiere their music video for “Broken Generation,” one of several new songs featured on the band’s upcoming reissue Restoring Force: Full Circle. In the video, characters walk around as if in The Matrix, attached to cords that keep them plugged into their technology. You can guess what the metaphor is here, but drummer Tino Arteaga also explains it in the Billboard article:

“The video is a metaphor for the current state of the Internet/technology-obsessed generation. As technology advances, life is lived out through LED screens instead of looking at the beauty in the world around us. This generation needs to begin taking action and ‘unplug’ instead of mindlessly entering data into computers.”

The song itself showcases more of Austin Carlile’s clean vocals than listeners have previously enjoyed, which may give a glimpse of where the band is headed for future recordings. Check out the video above and the rest of the Billboard article and let us know what you think!

Restoring Force: Full Circle will be released via Rise Records on February 24th.

Response to Gene Simmons: “Rock Is Dead”

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THIS EDITORIAL WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED THROUGH TAYLOR MARKARIAN’S GRIMM ROCK REVIEW AND IS RE-PUBLISHED HERE VIA THE AUTHOR’S CONSENT.

“Rock ‘n’ roll” is a heavy phrase. It carries with it sex, drugs, death, youthful rebellion, dreams made and dreams broken, all culminating in a unique spirit that has all but become synonymous with America itself. Unfortunately, folks, it’s all over.

Gene Simmons told us the bad news on September 4th in an interview with Esquire— “Rock is finally dead.” So all of you up-and-coming’s out there can pack your bags, clip on a tie, and major in finance, because none of what you’re doing matters. The kids lined up around the block hours before the show can go home. Warped Tour? Mayhem Fest? Shut ‘em down. And all of those band t-shirts in your closet can be sewn into a nice dark quilt for grandma because there’s just no arguing with Gene.

Really, who are we to point out that Warped tour garnered $23.4 million last year and is the longest running musical festival in the country (Billboard Magazine)? Or that numerous acts such as My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink-182, The Foo Fighters, and The Used have become landmarks of rock and of American pop culture post-1983, the year Simmons demarcated as the last of true “musical anythings that are iconic, that seem to last beyond their time”? How can we dare to worship albums like Senses Fail’s Let It Enfold You or Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends 10 years after their release? And what miscreant keeps plastering the words “sold out” on almost any venue hosting Asking Alexandria, Pierce the Veil, Lamb of God, or Avenged Sevenfold?

The answers to these snarky questions are multi-dimensional and interconnected. In all seriousness, Gene Simmons is partly right. That amorphous, umbrella term—“Rock”—is dead, in that its dozens of subgenres have made it relatively meaningless. No one can be just a rock band anymore, because it’s simply too broad. What are you? Metal? But what kind of metal? Thrash, Nu, Black, Death? Are you hardcore? Meaning, are you post-hardcore, hardcore punk? The lists and divisions go on and on.

Another reason Gene Simmons is right is the same reason that he is laughably, infuriatingly wrong. His definition is limited. He equates rock with acts like (what a shock) Kiss, The Beatles, The Stones, and U2. For him, rock is dead because it is no longer main stage. The arena shows are reserved for Justin Bieber. Radio time is given to endless repeats of the latest Katy Perry club mix.

Well—and let me be as professional and eloquent as possible here—DUH! It’s 2014, not 1980. (And it’s not 2008 either, by the way. The “file-sharing” argument is not news. So if Gene Simmons was going to announce the vicious murder of music, meaning all music, it should have been during the golden age of Limewire, not in 2014 during an LP revival.) The technology has changed, the entertainment market has expanded, and the media is over-saturated. Of course when we develop new electronic gadgets every five minutes the mainstream sounds of our generation are going to be pop, hip-hop, and EDM-centric. The enormous technological shift finds its echo in a shifting cultural paradigm, so it makes sense that the gritty, raw texture of Beartooth is going to be passed over for smooth, shiny, easily-digestible Deadmau5 nine times out of 10.

But does that make all rock music irrelevant and the victim of senseless slaughter? Of course not. To stand by such an assertion would be flagrant and ludicrous reductionism. All genres have their time in the spotlight, and if we’re being true to the meaning of rock, the “underground” is exactly where it should be right now anyway.

“The meaning of rock.” What’s that? It’s a question that can engender thousands of answers, but if we’re speaking historically, rock is fundamentally counterculture. Rock always needs something to resist. Whether it be The Sex Pistols or Bob Dylan, rockers of all branches have been “anti—” and controversial for decades. They even oppose each other.

On the other hand, rock is and has been one of the most uniting forces the world has ever known. It provides much needed respite for the world-weary, the angst-ridden, the broken-hearted. Kids who might otherwise have wanted out of this life decided to stick around because of that one chorus in that one A Day To Remember song.

So we pick up our guitars. We set up our kits. We plug in our amps and attempt to dial them past 10 even if we won’t ever book Madison Square Garden, because house parties and club venues and even empty basements are just as good. We don’t scream the lyrics for the money. To paraphrase a Dangerkids song, we do it because “there is something in us that won’t leave us alone.”

So, in the spirit of all that is rock ‘n’ roll: Fuck you. Rock is alive and well.