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ROCKtober Playlist

ROCKtober

If Halloween isn’t your favorite holiday, you’re just not brutal enough. Here are 13 spooky, gory, and all-around badass tracks for you to get your creep on. And if your favorite horror-themed song isn’t on this list, let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear what you’re listening to this fall.

Continue reading ROCKtober Playlist

Interview with Tyler Dennen of Sworn In

Read the full interview transcript below.

HXC: How’s Mayhem been for you so far?
Tyler Dennen: Really cool. Definitely the coolest tour we’ve ever done.

You’ve been playing a lot of new songs from your latest record, The Lovers//The Devil. How’s that been?
Really good. It’s definitely been an interesting and challenging experience because the music is a little bit harder to pull off live. We’re doing it every day. We practice a lot beforehand. So I’m feeling pretty confident about it.

It’s a very complex album. It has a large duality to it. Could you give us a brief explanation of that?
Well, the whole idea is that it’s a split CD–the first half being the lovers, the second half being the devil. And the music, lyrics and story are supposed to reflect upon that change. So the first half of the CD is less aggressive and more towards the melodic side. The story follows the male and female lead where the first half, the male is the lover and the female is the devil and it switches. Throughout the record that switch happens slowly until midway and then reverse. And then the devil’s side musically is supposed to be heavier and more dark sounding. Heavier, lower tuned, more drone-y kind of stuff than the first half.

And what were some of the major musical influences for the album.
I can’t speak too much on the music side of it because I didn’t write any of the music. But lyrically, inspiration for me aside from personal experience and things that I was going through, the band My Chemical Romance is always really inspirational to me. And the band Thrice.

Why did you want to utilize more clean vocals this time?
It was just something we’ve always wanted to get into. Going that route really opens you up to a much larger audience and singing is something I’d rather be doing more than screaming. So just trying to usher in that age of kind of [headed] more toward the mainstream, for lack of better terms, kind of slowly.

A lot of the lyrics have these whimsical, almost child-like rhymes that you play upon. What made you want to do that?
I thought it would be kind of cool to put some ironic twists on the lyrics and song names because it would kind of lessen how intense it really is. Kind of like make it easier to digest.

Tyler Dennen of Sworn In
Tyler Dennen of Sworn In

What would you say is your favorite track?
Definitely “Scissors.”

You just did a video for that as well. How was the video shoot?
It was cool. It was very, very, very last minute, but I think it came together really well.

Your first full-length, The Death Card (XIII) as well as the new one both utilize tarot cards. What’s your fascination with tarot cards?
When I came back to the band, which was before we put out The Death Card, our guitar player Zak [Gibson] and I decided that it would be cool to go down the route with tarot cards because we really liked the imagery on them, the art on them, and the fact that the meanings behind them aren’t necessarily verbatim. You can kind of take what you want from it, which is something I really try to strive for with our music.

If you could be any tarot card, what would you be?
I would definitely be The Fool. That’s kind of what I was looking at for the next CD.

What kind of musical directions are you thinking of going in for your next record?
Not a fucking clue.

Do you think it’s going to be a concept again?
I kind of want to steer away from conceptual records, to be honest with you. I don’t feel like I really know what I’m doing enough as a person who’s trying to convey a story and write lyrics. I don’t think I have the correct rhetoric to be able to really solidly put down a story out there. So I think I’d rather take myself a little bit less seriously and just get what’s in my heart and chest out, rather than being stuck to the guideline of a story.

What would happen if the zombie apocalypse happened right now? How far would you guys make it?
My band? [Laughs] We would die pretty damn quick.

What would your weapon of choice on this bus be?
[Picks up free weight] Throw one, then run away.

Sworn_In_-_The_Lovers-The_Devil

How would you describe your genre? You guys are kind of all over the place, in a really cool way.
I would say emotional more than anything. I don’t wanna say ‘emo’ because we’re not like that, but my main prerogative in this band is to get people to feel something. When it comes down to the lyrics and the music I think all we’re trying to do is put emotion into something tangible. So that would probably be the genre, I would say. Emotional.

Out of all the bands on Mayhem Fest, who’s been your favorite to watch?
I love watching Thy Art Is Murder. We love those guys. 

If you could bring one record with you on a deserted island, what would it be?
I’d probably say Vheissu by Thrice.

So what exactly have you guys “sworn in” to?
Doing this. Travelling and doing music, I guess that’s the only thing. And we’ve got a bunch of contracts so I guess that’s kind of like being sworn in.

Where’s your favorite place you’ve played so far?
I really, really like playing all of the west coast—California, Washington, Oregon. I also really like Louisville, Kentucky and Texas is always great, too.

If you could describe your time on Mayhem in one word, what would it be?
Badass.

Interview by Natasha (a.k.a. Mascot) Van Duser

LA’s Emo Night Brings Back More Than Music

Taking Back Tuesday July Promo
Taking Back Tuesday July Promo

Once a month, in the epicenter of hipster culture in Los Angeles, the Echoplex opens its doors for Taking Back Tuesday—a night that brings every “emo” kid together to listen to their favorite 2000-2006 jams. A group of DJs spin their favorite emo tunes and a special guest DJ usually plays later in the evening; everyone from members of Senses Fail to Blink-182 have played a set. So this June, two friends and I caked on the eyeliner, pulled on our band t-shirts, and headed into Silverlake to see what Taking Back Tuesday (or #EmoNightLA, as it’s also known) was all about.

The Echoplex, as a venue, has seen rock stars of all types, including The Rolling Stones, Beck, NIN, and The Mars Volta. It’s a small venue (capacity caps at 700) and it has that rock ’n’ roll smell of stale beer and deodorants mingling together. Taking Back Tuesday looked like every My Chemical Romance concert I went to over the last decade. But even more importantly, it felt like every My Chemical Romance, every Taking Back Sunday, every Blink 182 concert I’ve ever attended. All these people, men and women with varying degrees of dyed hair and tattoos, came together to celebrate this music and what it does for them.

This is music that grabs hold of someone and sticks to them like sap on a car windshield. No matter how hard you scrape, this shit is on you. It pulled me into a strange time warp, where it didn’t matter that no one was playing an instrument on stage because I felt like I was back at my first concert. It took me back an entire decade, back well before this kind of music was popular—back to a time when I got shit for being an emo kid.

When emo first gained popularity in the early 2000s, the word was widely used derisively. People used it to put down the music and the people who identified with it. Being an emo kid was almost like wearing a target to school that said “I FEEL MY FEELINGS HARDCORE,” giving other insecure middle and high school kids the opportunity to pick on them.

Once I got to the Echoplex and saw the enthusiastic crowd and the excitement, however, I realized things have since shifted. Now, emo kids—or former emo kids who like to dabble in the culture—have taken back the word. There was a feeling in the room, which was amplified by the DJs, that being an emo kid is cool now. The DJs asked, “How are all you emo kids doing tonight?” to which they got an uproarious response from the crowd. No one felt picked on or shamed for being there. It was about celebrating the music and the culture associated with it.

If you look closely at actual lyrics, it’s easy to see why these bands resonate so strongly with confused adolescents (and struggling 20somethings). In the My Chemical Romance song “Thank You For The Venom,” frontman Gerard Way croons, “You’ll never make me leave/ I’ll wear this on my sleeve/ Give me a reason to believe.”  Lost, lonely, and searching for anyone to understand, these lyrics hit close to home for emo kids everywhere. The universal feeling of being misunderstood doesn’t go away entirely when you grow up. People will always misunderstand and overlook and be sort of shitty. You’ll always have to deal with that, and finding a healthy way to channel those feelings constructively, like with music, will always be important.

The feeling emo music gives me is one of acceptance and recognition; like someone turned to me in a moment of my own intense weakness and said, “I get it, this sucks, but you’ve got to stay strong.” That was the feeling that washed over me, like a warm shower, the moment I stepped into the #EmoNightLA crowd. It felt like I had found an old pair of Vans, well worn and held together by colored duck tape, that slipped on like no time had passed. It was like stepping back into my skin.

People jumped, bopped, and moshed to Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday, and Brand New. The moment the opening lyrics of “Fat Lip” blared from the speakers, (“Storming through the party like my name is El Niño/ When I’m hangin’ out drinking in the back of an El Camino/ As a kid, I was a skid and no one knew me by name/ I trashed my own house party cause nobody came”) 300 screaming attendees pushed forward and a mosh pit appeared like a sink hole, pulling in bodies from every direction. The songs that amped up the crowd most were songs about rebellion and being misunderstood, eliciting instant recognition and nostalgic joy.

Emo Night at the Echoplex gives people who never stopped being emo a place to jam together; a place to scream, jump, and enjoy the music that has become part of their soul. It’s a place where the year is 2006, and you’re watching the best damned Warped Tour of your entire life. The fact that this still exists, a decade later, is a testament to how much this music and this community still care. If every night could be Emo Night, then you would know where to find me: Jamming in Silverlake with a bunch of fucking emo kids.

EMO NIGHT IS THE FIRST TUESDAY OF EVERY MONTH

FOLLOW THEM ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/emonightLA

by Maria Spiridigliozzi

Frnkiero Andthe Cellabration Headlining Tour Dates

frnkiero

Ex-My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero has been taking the underground by storm since his noise punk band released .Stomachaches. in the summer of 2014. While it’d be easy to pin the success Frnkiero Andthe Cellabration have on the ten-mile-high MCR platform Iero had to jump from, the debut record clearly deserves notoriety in its own right. So much so, that the New Jersey basement sounds have earned a headlining spot on a tour with Against Me!.

The band’s headlining dates are selective and, for the Coasters, somewhere off the beaten path. But even if you can’t catch those shows, you can catch Frnkiero Andthe Cellabration on their supporting run with Against Me! in June and early July. Want tickets? Yeah, thought so.

HEADLINING SHOWS:

July 20 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
July 21 – Boise, ID – The Crux
July 22 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Loading Dock
July 24 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
July 25 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Conservatory
July 26 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway

frnkiero tour dates

OTHER DATES:

JUNE 15: Raleigh, NC, Lincoln Theatre
JUNE 16: Charleston, SC – Music Farm
JUNE 17: Columbia, SC – Music Farm Columbia
JUNE 18: Norfolk, VA – Norva Theater
JUNE 19: Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
JUNE 20: Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
JUNE 21: Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
JUNE 23 : Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
JUNE 24: Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
JUNE 26: Detroit, MI – St Andrews Hall
JUNE 27: Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
JUNE 28: Cleveland, OH – House of Blues – Cleveland
JUNE 30: Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
JULY 1: Indianapolis, IN-Deluxe at Old National
JULY 3: Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
JULY 5: Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
JULY 7: Bloomington, IL – The Castle Theater
JULY 8: Grand Rapids, MI – Intersection
JULY 11: Winnipeg, MB – Garrick Theatre
JULY 12: Saskatoon, SK – O’Brian’s Event Centre
JULY 14: Edmonton, AB – Union Hall
JULY 15: Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall
JULY 17: Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
JULY 19: Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre