Tag Archives: Mayhem Fest

Interview with Andy Marsh of Thy Art Is Murder

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“Expect the unexpected” is probably one of the worst, most clichéd pieces of advice. Still, despite having heard it far too much, we didn’t expect the least gory answer to the question “So how would you commit a murder?” to come from the guitarist of a band that literally has the word “murder” in its name.

From the moment our video interview with Andy Marsh of Thy Art Is Murder kicks off, it’s clear this guy does not take himself too seriously, and it’s pretty funny. Because how else do you sit through an interview? With a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, of course.

Check out the video interview below and give a listen to the band’s new record, Holy War.

Live Shots: Whitechapel at Mayhem Fest 2015

Whitechapel
Whitechapel

Two Words: Phil Bozeman.

While metal music reigns supreme at the Rockstar Mayhem Fest each year, it is bands like Whitechapel that always tend to dominate.  Opting to play the Victory Records stage when they easily could have fronted the Main Stage.  PhillyBo and Co. delivered the heaviest set of the day and rocked the festival for a well deserved 40-minute set.  From their showmanship, musicianship, and Bozeman’s legendary guttural screams, Whitechapel stole the show.  In case you missed it, check out some of the live shots we got at the Holmdel, New Jersey date of the festival.

All photos by Taylor Markarian.

Mayhem Fest Comes To An End

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This year, HXC Magazine had the pleasure of hanging out with, interviewing, and photographing the rad bands on Mayhem Fest. While we’ve still got some content coming your way from the beloved metal festival, it looks like the tour itself is at its end. Not just for the summer, but for good.

Early today it was reported that due to declining hype and ticket sales, festival co-founder John Reese has decided that Mayhem will be throwing in the towel. Are you sad to see it go? Tell us about it, and read Reese’s statement below.

john reese statement

Interview with Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada

Mike Hranica of TDWP

You never really know what to expect when you walk into an interview. Whatever your expectations may be, however, I doubt you would expect to walk in on your interviewee casually reading a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel that would seriously hurt if someone decided to use it as a weapon. Meet Mike Hranica, vocalist of the well-known metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada, and avid consumer of Russian literature.

But intimidating books are not all he talks about. In this interview with Hranica at the Holmdel, NJ date of Mayhem Fest 2015, we discuss the band’s upcoming Space EP and why the Zombie EP remains so important, starting out in skate parks, and, if you’ve ever wondered what TDWP would look like as comic book characters, you may not be wondering for long…

Continue reading Interview with Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada

Live Shots: Thy Art Is Murder at Mayhem Fest 2015

CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder
CJ McMahon of Thy Art Is Murder

When your guitarist’s sound shuts off mid-set, you improvise the guitar solo with doo-doo-doo’s in your vocals. When the crowd isn’t moving fast enough, you jump down into the circle pit and get shit moving. At least, that’s how Thy Art Is Murder vocalist CJ McMahon runs the show. And of course, nothing says “brutal” more than a banana yellow guitar and a popsicle shirt, right Andy? Check out some metal photos of Thy Art Is Murder from the Holmdel, New Jersey date of Mayhem Fest 2015 below!

All photos by Taylor Markarian.

Live Shots: Sworn In at Mayhem Fest 2015

Chris George of Sworn In
Chris George of Sworn In

Most bands jump around a lot on stage. The self-described “emotional” band Sworn In like to lurk. Wielding their chaotic blend of metal, industrial, and -core sounds at Rockstar Mayhem Fest on Tuesday, they sneered and stared at the New Jersey crowd who weren’t sure whether to mosh or take cover. Which will you choose?

All photos taken by Mascot Van Duser.

Live Shots: Code Orange, TDWP at Mayhem Fest 2015

Mike Hranica of TDWP
Mike Hranica of TDWP

HXC Magazine got an exclusive look at two forceful and raging live bands, Code Orange and The Devil Wears Prada, on the New Jersey date of this year’s Rockstar Mayhem Fest.

Holding their own on the Victory Records Stage, Code Orange brought out the inner-mosh in all who watched.  From their brutal, overlaid unclean vocals to their energetic stage presence, Code Orange proved that they are no longer kids and can hold their own at festival as tried and true as Mayhem.

Though the pavilion seating arrangement made for an awkward main stage dynamic, TDWP did not hold back. Blaring fan favorites from “Outnumbered” to “Danger: Wildman,” the metalcore heavyweights even made sure to showcase their new single “Supernova” from their upcoming Space EP.

Check out the live photos in the gallery below from their Mayhem performance at New Jersey’s PNC Bank Arts Center.

All photos of Code Orange by Mascot Van Duser.

All photos of The Devil Wears Prada by Taylor Markarian.

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.