Video correspondent Mike McNamara is totally, 100%. completely, absolutely and unforgivably serious when he reviews the new Issues record, Headspace. Haven’t heard the album yet? Watch it. You have heard the album? Watch it and see your feelings get put into words. Funny words. Inspiring words. Words to shake the foundation of the world.
Melodic hardcore quintet Hollow Bones are set to release their debut album, Lionheart, on May 27th. They’ve already shared Part 1 of the album’s track-by-track with their fans, but they’ve teamed up with the HXC Magazine team to bring you Part 2!
We’ve all seen the bloodshed and the bruised faces. We’ve had our ribs crushed and our teeth knocked out. It’s time to put an end to it. We’re talking, of course, about moshing. Can you help us stop the violence? One Mike McNamara is going to try.
We hung out with The Plot In You at Loud Fest in New Jersey to talk about the important subjects: Avril Lavigne, The Wiggles, and of course, their latest release, Happiness In Self Destruction. Watch the video below and spend some quality time with Landon Tewers (vocals), Josh Childress (guitar) and Ethan Yoder (bass). And Goombas.
While sitting at the bottom of the stairs in Webster Hall on the October 30th date of the Hate Me Tour, we got to ask vocalists John Ritter and Michael Swank of Myka Relocate some questions about Halloween, some of their craziest life experiences, and their new record The Young Souls. The record had officially been released via Razor & Tie the day of this interview, as was headliners Escape The Fate‘s new record, Hate Me, via Eleven Seven Music. Watch the video below to see what these dudes are like pre-show and learn about Swank’s alter ego, “Crop Top Mike”. Oh, and a dude in a red leather jester outfit walks through the video at some point, too. Unfortunately his jester hat is out of frame, but he was totally the star of this one.
A big part of being “in and of the scene” is being invested in local music. In this interview with Zoúme, the budding New York City band take HXC Magazine on a tour of their favorite spots. From big name venues like Irving Plaza and Webster Hall to world famous punk landmark Trash & Vaudeville, we shed some light on who three of the five Zoúme members actually are. Find out which of these guys showed up to a concert in a full suit, which one wouldn’t mind being on tour with the Jonas Brothers, and which one only started eating bagels last week. (P.S. – Along the way we also run into members of other NYC bands like Sylar and Perspectives! So make sure you watch the full video.)
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.
What would you say is your favorite track?
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.
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?
Interview by Natasha (a.k.a. Mascot) Van Duser
“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.
Minimalism is perhaps the most common theme spread throughout hardcore. When you embellish a basic chord progression in hardcore, suddenly it’s metalcore. If you add lots of lights and a barrier, that local vibe is gone. You’re “selling out” in a sense. There’s a real sense of community derived from such a simple idea that you can just pick up an instrument, have a message and play it for people to hear. This is perhaps why many music videos in hardcore are homemade, live footage from shows, or simply the band playing in an empty warehouse or white room.
So what happens when a metalcore band heavily routed in the hardcore community takes a stab at it? Well, just like their music, it embellishes that idea a bit more.
The Orange County quintet Stick To Your Guns have been riding the success of their latest album Disobedient and have just released the second music video, “The Crown,” in support of that album. As the song and video suggest, we are but small creatures in a much bigger world, and with power in this world, as Ben Parker notes, comes great responsibility. For a highly politically vocal band, this video has a lot to say simply through images and contrasts. Take a look at the video below to see some pretty incredible visuals paired solely with STYG playing in a very bright, white room and let us know what you think!
The Ongoing Concept broke the scene with their 2013 debut full-length Saloon and have been pushing the boundaries of hardcore, punk and metalcore ever since. Now preparing for the release of their second LP through Solid State Records, The Ongoing Concept have taken a different approach to getting around the high costs needed in making an album aptly titled Handmade–they’re hand making all of their instruments.
Over the last few weeks the quartet has been teasing various tracks from the record through their YouTube series in which they actually document the craftsmanship that went into bringing their instruments from trees to rock ‘n’ roll weapons. And now, finally, The Ongoing Concept is giving fans a chance to hear the first single off of their new record with the release of the music video for “Unwanted.” Continusously carrying out the DIY aesthetic implicated through the recording process of Handmade, the video for “Unwanted” follows suit as the band serves as the stars, directors, and even camera men for the video’s entirety.
Take a look at four guys rocking out with a giant camera in a hall of mirror for three and a half minutes and let us know what you think of The Ongoing Concept’s fun new approach to contemporary DIY.