A lot has been happening these past several days in the heavy music scene, so instead of doing a hundred individual posts we’re just going to sum up some of the highlights from this week. Let us know what you’re most stoked on or what caught you most by surprise!
One of the many albums that dropped on October 30th was Crown The Empire‘s deluxe edition of their album The Resistance via Rise Records. A music video for one of the new tracks, “Cross Our Bones,” premiered yesterday and it gives you a chance to hear the metalcore band at their most catchy. The song still has some heaviness and unclean vocals, but is far more melodic than most of their previous releases. The video also features some intriguing contrasting visual imagery; light and dark, brightly colored flowers and skulls shrouded in black smoke that are reminiscent of the new record’s cover artwork. It’s a cool one from an artistic perspective as well as a musical one. So check out the video below and let us know what you think of it and the new deluxe edition!
Ah, spring break. That mystical time of year when the world (supposedly) begins to thaw and stupid decisions become a mandatory cultural practice. Regardless of whether you’re in school or if you’ve just got a case of spring fever, it calls for some celebratory tunes. Even though we still wear black head to toe, we know how to appreciate a bit of sunshine. So we’ve assembled some star tracks to blare down the highway with or to chair dance to as you’re sipping your second margarita (which are hopefully mutually exclusive activities). All you’ve gotta do is scroll.
“Filth Friends Unite” by I See Stars
Sometimes when you want to have a good time, you’ve gotta get a little filthy. Self-destructive behavior shouldn’t be encouraged, but let’s be honest, it does happen from time to time, and being bad can feel oh so good. So if you’re into finding friends in the filthiest places, press play on this I See Stars anthem. –Taylor Markarian
“Another Song About the Weekend” by A Day To Remember
Everybody wants to get out of their hometown at some point, and your spring break is the best time to do it. This popcore ADTR jam is one of our favorite b-sides from the Florida rockers and the perfect tune to pop into your car stereo as you take your road trip to wherever the hell your heart desires. –Natasha Van Duser
“I Knew You Were Trouble” (Cover) by We Came As Romans
Melodic metalcore covers of pop songs are always a sinfully sweet treat, but nothing beats watching Kyle Pavone get the short end of the stick in WCAR’s version of Taylor Swift’s major hit. The guy just can’t win, and it’s hilarious. From bitching out during a tattoo session to getting ganged up on in a pool hall, it’s clear that the dude isn’t getting the girl anytime soon. The song itself is also a great adaptation that’s equally as catchy as the original and infinitely more badass. -TM
“Wake Me Up” by Crown The Empire
Crown The Empire blew up when their debut full length The Fallout dropped, however their Limitless EP in my humble opinion still holds some of the best work they’ve ever written with “Wake Me Up” being the staple. Combining catchy riffs, melodic vocals, heavy breakdowns and even dubstep, “Wake Me Up” is one of the most dynamic tracks to celebrate the warmer weather with. –NVD
“Deja Vu All Over Again” by Alesana
“Raise your glass to rock and roll” are the words we live by and this track from Alesana’s The Decade EP helps us celebrate that fact. Get yourself to a bar and toast to your friends and to the music you revel in, and on the way there blast this Ode to the Art Form. –TM
“For You” by Get Scared
If I could happy dance in my underwear like Tom Cruise all day to this song, I would. Hands down one of the most poppy things Get Scared has ever released, “For You” proves that warm weather and good feels can even make a heavily emo-influenced band smile. –NVD
“The Best Of Me” by The Starting Line
The Starting Line’s signature track, “The Best Of Me” has been a banner song for pop punk kids for years. Though The Starting Line have ceased active writing and touring, with the exception of a few one off shows, “we got older / but we’re still young / we never grew out of / this feeling that we won’t give up” is a sentiment that still holds true. (Besides, TSL are supposedly coming out with new material in 2015…#DefendPopPunk) –TM
“Elevated” by State Champs
Spring Break and summer are both seasons basically designed for going to music festivals, spending time in the sun, and listening to upbeat pop punk. And if there’s one new pop punk band to listen to, it’s definitely State Champs. Heavily supported by the hardcore scene (always touring with Vanna), State Champs delivers some of the most in-depth, yet still catchy tracks in today’s scene. Roll down your windows when you blast this one. –NVD
“Rodent” by The Menzingers
Even though the lyrics carry some tangible angst, “Rodent” is a modern punk rock track with a feel good vibe. Sure, it’s fed up with you and your bullshit, but the frank lines “I don’t care anymore / I’ll let it all go” make it all kind of okay. Roll the windows down, put some shades on, and drive down whatever highway you can and escape from the rodent in your wall. –TM
“A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More ‘Touch Me'” by Fall Out Boy
You can’t have a Spring Break playlist without at least one old school Fall Out Boy song. Before the foursome were selling out arenas around the world and writing songs with Courtney Love, they were growing up in the suburbs of Chicago trying to get the girl next door–and apparently failing miserably. Isn’t that just the story of everyone’s teenage and college years? It’s the perfect track to unwind to all week long. –NVD
Click below to listen to the full playlist on Spotify and YouTube!
“The most annoying sound in the world is your own phone ringing,” Marquis Green laughs as his home phone shrieks its way into our interview. While the incessant alarm of one’s phone is sometimes enough to warrant throwing it across the room, what Green admits has him most troubled these days is the current state of the music industry, most particularly, the hardcore scene. A quick Q&A about his business, Triforce Studios, quickly evolves into a manifesto on the over-saturation of media, the under-appreciation of local bands, and what he wants to do to bring about change.
Green began the NYC-based Triforce Studios with friends Daniel Briones and Peter Lanza in 2012. The name, which owes itself to the trinity of founders and not, as many happily assume, to Legend Of Zelda, quickly came to represent more than just a recording studio. The endeavor branched out into the realm of cinematography and even music lessons, filming live shows and taking professional grade photos of both local and well-known acts. While Triforce has showcased names like Our Last Night and Crown The Empire (live video “Menace” below), Green reveals that this is not where his passion lies.
“As far as bigger acts go, I personally try to stray away from working with them because everybody wants to work with them,” says Green. “I feel like to put my work out there that way isn’t going to make much of a difference.” Instead, Green prefers to work with lesser-known bands for the reason that the word ‘local,’ like the word ‘scene,’ has become stigmatized. Having worked with bands like Call It Home, The Machinist, Illusionist, and Young Graves amongst others, Green laments the fact that the local bands who work so hard to get noticed are far less likely to be. “You don’t hear the locals anymore. You hear the word ‘local’ and it’s like, “Oh man, shitty EP production, terrible merch, bad image.’ It’s so negative.”
According to him, this is is partially why many are quick to eulogize the hardcore scene as if it were a thing of the past. “There are too many bands and there are too many promoters and there are too many things that are over-saturating this scene in particular. I feel like a lot of bands don’t get a voice because there is always someone else willing to play that same sound cheaper and look better, look the part. It’s not really allowing the music to be heard firsthand. I think that over-saturation is what’s making people feel like the scene is dead, because in a sense it is because it’s becoming numb to good music.”
Yet Green also claims that the future does not have to be so bleak and believes in his and Triforce’s ability to help change the music climate for the better. As he talks about the future remolding of the company, he does so with a surge of energy in his voice. “We’re going to start packaging media for bands on our featured artists list and then we’re going to give that to them to use to promote [themselves] to labels,” he explains. “We wanna be that line where people say, ‘Oh, you’ve worked with them before? We need to take a closer look at you.’”
So where does this need to help musicians keep their drum heads above water come from? With the mantra of the Studio being, “Triforce is for the people, by the people, and it will always be that way,” one has to wonder why these democratic ideals are so important. The answer lies in Green’s own failings as a musician.
“I have failed multiple times trying to get into the industry, and not because of me. I believe that now that I know the business from the inside, trying to make it and seeing other things drag you down, I know what tools need to be there for you to get an extra foot in the business. That’s why I enjoy working for the people, because I know what it’s like to be you. I know money is always tight and I know that opportunities don’t always come. I want to be able to audition some opportunities for you that you might not have gotten.”
The injustices Green speaks to resonate with a fundamental tenet of HXC Magazine: Never separate the audience from the show. Noting a distinct separation between “The People” and the institution that the music business has become, Green holds fast to the idea that improvements can be made; that the term ‘local’ doesn’t have to be blacklisted as long as the right steps are taken and the right elements put into place for change.
“That’s the urgency we need for the scene,” he claims, and his phone yells out one more time.
Of Mice & Men have released yet another track off their upcoming reissue, Restoring Force: Full Circle. The new song, “Never Giving Up,” comes to fans just a couple of weeks after the release of the “Broken Generation” music video, from the same album. Stream the track below, and catch the trailblazing act on their spring headlining tour with Crown The Empire and Volumes.
Of Mice & Men have announced a tour with Crown The Empire and Volumes beginning this spring. Check out the dates below as well as Of Mice & Men’s new music video for “Broken Generation.”
April 28 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution
April 30 Nashville, TN Rocketown
May 1 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
May 2 Charlotte, NC Carolina Rebellion **
May 6 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
May 7 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
May 9 Las Vegas, NV Rock In Rio **
May 11 Sayreville, NJ Starland Balroom
May 12 Worcester, MA The Palladium
May 13 NYC, NY Best Buy Theater
May 16 Columbus, OH Rock On The Range **
May 17 Sauget, IL Pops
May 19 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
May 20 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
May 21 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theatre
May 23 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
May 24 Pryor, OK Rocklahoma **
May 26 Houston, TX House Of Blues
May 27 San Antonio, TX Alamo City Music Hall
May 29 Denver, CO Ogden Theater
May 30 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
June 1 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
June 2 Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market
June 4 San Francisco, CA Regency Ballroom
June 5 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
June 7 San Diego, CA Soma
**=not headlining shows
Memphis May Fire’s Matty Mullins announced the band’s headlining spot on the 2015 Take Action Tour yesterday, with bands Crown The Empire, Dance Gavin Dance, and Palisades supporting. A portion of the ticket sales for the Take Action Tour will go to the Living The Dream Foundation, so rock out and be charitable at the same time by following the links below to grab your tickets.
March 10 Expo Five – Louisville, KY
March 11 Cone Denim – Greensboro, NC
March 13 Underbelly – Jacksonville, FL
March 14 Polish American Club – Vero Beach, FL
March 15 Sidebar Theater – Tallahassee, FL
March 16 New Daisy Theatre – Memphis, TN
March 19 House of RockCorpus – Christi, TX
March 20 NSN Festival – Mission, TX
March 21 South By So What?! – Grand Prairie, TX
March 22 Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
March 24 Jake’s Sports Café – Lubbock, TX
March 25 Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX
March 27 Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
March 28 Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
March 29 Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
March 31 Strummer’s – Fresno, CA
April 01 B-Ryder’s – Bakersfield, CA
April 02 Senator Theatre – Chico, CA
April 04 Tempe Beach Park – Tempe, AZ (MMF ONLY)