All posts by Riley Rowe

Bio: Riley began as an avid reader of the site since 2008 and made the switch to a reporter around the time of the name change to AlternativeNation in 2013. He is a fan of the grunge genre and is always exploring the depths of metal, enjoying subgenres such as industrial, progressive, alternative, doom, post, stoner, nu, and avant-garde. Riley has been playing guitar for over 6 years, been in an Alice in Chains cover band, and is currently majoring in Recording Arts/Music Production. He began the site by posting the setlists for the site and transitioned to reporting news, writing reviews, doing interviews, and running both the metal section and Modern Artists Showcase. Riley also spends his time managing local bands: Mothlight, Diamondstein, Soda Pants, and With Age.   Fun Facts: Riley went to the same high school as Eddie Vedder. Riley’s first band was called Melting Pot of Human Emotion, which later changed to Dictator Willie. Riley enjoys puppies, kittens, and listening to angsty music on rainy days.   Reach out to Riley at or

Top 15 Alternative Rock Producers

Photographed (left to right): Butch Vig, Rick Rubin, and Brendan O’Brien

Introduction, title & photo edit by Brett Buchanan

Below, in no particular order, are 15 of alternative rock and hard rock’s greatest producers!

Steve Albini

Discography: Pixies’ Surfer Rosa (1988), Slint’s Tweez (1989), The Breeders’ Pod (1990), The Jesus Lizard’s Goat (1991), Helmet’s Meantime (1992), PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me (1993), Nirvana’s In Utero (1993), Melt-Banana’s Scratch or Stitch (1995), Bush’s Razorblade Suitcase (1996), Chevelle’s Point #1 (1999), Low’s Things We Lost in the Fire (2001), Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Yanqui U.X.O. (2002), High on Fire’s Blessed Black Wings (2005), The Stooges’ The Weirdness (2007), Scott Weiland’s “Happy” in Galoshes (2008), Manic Street Preachers’ Journal of Plague Lovers (2009), Weedeater’s Jason… The Dragon (2011), Neurosis’ Honor Found in Decay (2012), Foxy Shazam’s Gonzo (2014), Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways (2014)

Joe Barresi

Discography: Melvins’ Stag (1996), Fu Manchu’s King of the Road (1999), Pennywise’s Land of the Free? (2001), Powerman 5000’s Transform (2003), Backyard Babies’ Stockholm Syndrome (2003), Tomahawk’s Mit Gas (2003), Queens of the Stone Age’s Lullabies to Paralyze (2005), The Butterfly Effect’s Imago (2006), Clutch’s From Beale Street to Oblivion (2007), Zico Chain’s Food (2007), Saviours’ Into Abbadon (2008), Isis’ Wavering Radiant (2009), Pearl’s Little Immaculate White Fox (2010), Coheed and Cambria’s Year of The Black Rainbow (2010), Bad Religion’s The Dissent of Man (2010), Apocalyptica’s 7th Symphony (2010), Fair to Midland’s Arrows and Anchors (2011), Every Time I Die’s Ex Lives (2012), Stam1na’s Nocebo (2012), Chevelle’s La Gárgola (2014)

Butch Vig

Discography: Killdozer’s Little Baby Buntin’ (1987), Die Kreuzen’s Century Days (1988), Laughing Hyenas’ You Can’t Pray a Lie (1989), feedtime’s Suction (1989), Nirvana’s Nevermind (1991), L7’s Bricks are Heavy (1992), Overwhelming Colorfast’s self-titled (1992), Drain’s Pick Up Heaven (1992), Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream (1993), Sonic Youth’s Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star (1994), Freedy Johnston’s This Perfect World (1994), Soul Asylum’s Let Your Dim Light Shine (1995), AFI’s Sing the Sorrow (2003), Against Me!’s New Wave (2007), Jimmy Eat World’s Chase This Light (2007), The Subways’ All or Nothing (2008), Tom Gabel’s Heart Burns (2008), Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown (2008), Never Shout Never’s Harmony (2010), Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light (2010), Sound City Players – Real To Reel (2013)

Brendan O’Brien

Discography: Stone Temple Pilots’ Core (1992), Jackyl’s self-titled (1992), Pearl Jam’s Vs. (1993), King’s X’s Dogman (1994), Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire (1996), Korn’s Issues (1999), The Offspring’s Conspiracy of One (2000), Train’s Drops of Jupiter (2001), Papa Roach’s Lovehatetragedy (2002), Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising (2002), Incubus’ A Crow Left of the Murder… (2004), The Wallflowers’ Rebel, Sweetheart (2005), Audioslave’s Revelations (2006), Velvet Revolver’s Libertad (2007), AC/DC’s Black Ice (2008), The Nightwatchman’s The Fabled City (2008), Mastodon’s Crack the Skye (2009), The Fray’s Scars & Stories (2012), Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt (2013), The Gaslight Anthem’s Handwritten (2012), Seether’s Isolate and Medicate (2014),

Rick Rubin

Discography: Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill (1986), Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell (1986), The Cult’s Electric (1987), Danzig’s self-titled (1988), Slayer’s South of Heaven (1988), Masters of Reality’s self-titled (1988), Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), Tom Petty’s Wildflowers (1994), AC/DC’s Ballbreaker (1995), Rage Against the Machine’s Renegades (2000), American Head Charge’s The War of Art (2001), System of a Down’s Toxicity (2001), Audioslave’s self-titled (2002), Limp Bizkit’s Results May Vary (2003), Slipknot’s Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) (2004), Weezer’s Make Believe (2005), Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight (2007), Coheed and Cambria’s Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow (2007), Metallica’s Death Magnetic (2008), Black Sabbath’s 13 (2013)

Terry Date

Discography: Dream Theater’s When Dream and Day Unite (1989), Metal Church’s Blessing in Disguise (1989), Mother Love Bone’s Apple (1990), Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger (1991), Overkill’s Horrorscope (1991), Screaming Trees’ Uncle Anesthesia (1991), Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power (1992), Fishbone’s Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe (1993), Prong’s Cleansing (1994), White Zombie’s Astro-Creep: 2000 (1995), Staind’s Dysfunction (1999), Deftones’ White Pony (2000), Limp Bizkit’s Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water (2000), Powerman 5000’s Anyone for Doomsday? (2001), Otep’s Sevas Tra (2002), Dredg’s Catch Without Arms (2005), Smashing Pumpkins’ Zeitgeist (2007), Bring Me the Horizon’s Sempiternal (2013), Soulfly’s Savages (2013), Miss May I’s Rise of the Lion (2014)

Ross Robinson

Discography: Korn’s self-titled (1994), Sepultura’s Roots (1996), Limp Bizkit’s Three Dollar Bill, Y’all$ (1997), Soulfly’s self-titled (1998), Vanilla Ice’s Hard to Swallow (1998), Cold’s self-titled (1998), Machine Head’s The Burning Red (1999), Slipknot’s self-titled (1999), Amen’s self-titled (1999), At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command (2000), Fear Factory’s Concrete (2002), Glassjaw’s Worship and Tribute (2002), The Blood Brothers’ …Burn, Piano Island, Burn (2003), The Cure’s self-titled (2004), From First to Last’s Heroine (2006), Idiot Pilot’s Wolves (2007), Drop Dead, Gorgeous’ Worse Than a Fairy Tale (2007), Norma Jean’s The Anti Mother (2008), Klaxons’ Surfing the Void (2010), Soko’s My Dreams Dictate My Reality (2015)

Nick Raskulinecz

Discography: Goatsnake’s Flower of Disease (2000), Velvet Revolver’s Contraband (2004), Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor (2005), Stone Sour’s Come What(ever) May (2006), Coheed and Cambria’s Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow (2007), Shadows Fall’s Threads of Life (2007), Death Angel’s Killing Season (2008), Trivium’s Shogun (2008), Danko Jones’ Never Too Loud (2008), Alice in Chains’ Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), Deftones’ Diamond Eyes (2010), Evanescence’s self-titled (2011), Rush’s Clockwork Angels (2012), Ghost’s Infestissumam (2013), Bush’s Man on the Run (2014), Mastodon’s Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014), Adelitas Way’s Stuck (2014), The Hold Steady’s Teeth Dreams (2014), Black Star Riders’ The Killer Instinct (2015), Apocalyptica’s Shadowmaker (2015)

Adam Kasper

Discography: Truly’s Fast Stories… from Kid Coma (1995), Seaweed’s Spanaway (1995), Soundgarden’s Down on the Upside (1996), Pond’s Rock Collection (1997), The Watchmen’s Silent Radar (1998), Wellwater Conspiracy’s Brotherhood of Electric: Operational Directives (1999), Cold’s 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage (2000), Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf (2002), Foo Fighters’ One by One (2002), Aya’s Senjou no Hana (2002), The Tragically Hip’s In Between Evolution (2004), Pearl Jam’s self-titled (2006), Eddie Vedder’s Ukelele Songs (2011), Spoonshine’s Song of the Sockeye (2012), Soundgarden’s King Animal (2012), Ume’s Monuments (2014)

Rick Parashar

Discography: Forced Entry’s Uncertain Future (1989), Temple of the Dog’s self-titled (1991), Pearl Jam’s Ten (1991), Alice in Chains’ Sap (1992), Blind Melon’s self-titled (1992), Pride & Glory’s self-titled (1994), Litfiba’s Spirito (1994), Unwritten Law’s self-titled (1998), U.P.O.’s No Pleasantries (2000), Nickelback’s Silver Side Up (2001), Stereomud’s Perfect Self (2001), Anyone’s self-titled (2001), 3 Doors Down’s Away from the Sun (2002), Default’s The Fallout (2001), Longview’s Mercury (2003), Melissa Etheridge’s Lucky (2004), Alex Lloyd’s self-titled (2005), Bon Jovi’s Have a Nice Day (2005), 10 Years’ Division (2008), Juke Kartel’s Nowhere Left to Hide (2009)

Toby Wright

Discography: Brad Gillis’ Gilrock Ranch (1993), Alice in Chains’ Jar of Flies (1994), Slayer’s Divine Intervention (1994), Kiss’ Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions (1995), Chris Whitley’s Terra Incognita (1997), Korn’s Follow the Leader (1998), Jerry Cantrell’s Boggy Depot (1998), Primus’ Rhinoplasty (1998), Sevendust’s Home (1999), 8stops7’s In Moderation (1999), Soulfly’s Primitive (2000), Tantric’s self-titled (2001), Taproot’s Welcome (2002), 3rd Strike’s Lost Angel (2002), Memento’s Beginnings (2003), Fear Factory’s Transgression (2005), Brown Brigade’s Into the Mouth of Badd(d)ness (2007), Linea 77’s Horror Vacui (2008), Sonic Syndicate’s We Rule the Night (2010), The Letter Black’s Hanging On By a Thread (2010)

Michael “Elvis” Baskette

Discography: Puddle of Mudd’s Life on Display (2003), Chevelle’s This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In) (2004), Cold’s A Different Kind of Pain (2005), Falling Up’s Dawn Escapes (2005), Escape the Fate’s Dying is Your Latest Fashion (2006), I Am Ghost’s Lovers’ Requiem (2006), A Change of Pace’s Prepare the Masses (2006), Alterbridge’s Blackbird (2007), Army of Me’s Citizen (2007), Story of the Year’s The Black Swan (2008), Fact’s self-titled (2009), The Classic Crime’s Vagabonds (2010), Taking Dawn’s Time to Burn (2010), Ratt’s Infestation (2010), Blessthefall’s Awakening (2011), Tremonti’s All I Was (2012), Falling in Reverse’s Fashionably Late (2013), Eve to Adam’s Locked & Loaded (2013), Crown Jewel Defense’s self-titled (2013)

David Bottrill

Discography: David Sylvian and Robert Fripp’s The First Day (1993), King Crimson’s THRAK (1995), Muse’s Origin of Symmetry (2001), Flaw’s Through the Eyes (2001), Mudvayne’s The End of All Things to Come (2002), Silverchair’s Diorama (2002), I Mother Earth’s The Quicksilver Meat Dream (2003), Godsmack’s Faceless (2003), V Shaped Mind’s Cul-De-Sac (2003), Staind’s Chapter V (2005), Tool’s Ænima (2006), Fair to Midland’s Fables from a Mayfly: What I Tell You Three Times Is True (2007), Placebo’s Battle for the Sun (2009), Moneen’s The World I Want to Leave Behind (2009), Circa Survive’s Blue Sky Noise (2010), dEUS’ Keep You Close (2011), Between the Buried and Me’s The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues (2011), The Getaway Plan’s Requiem (2011), Stone Sour’s House of Gold & Bones – Part 1 (2012), Chiodos’ Devil (2014)

Alan Moulder

Discography: Ride’s Going Blank Again (1992), Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), Moby’s Animal Rights (1996), Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile (1999), The Killers’ Sam’s Town (2006), Wolfmother’s Cosmic Egg (2009), White Lies’ Rituals (2011), Foals’ Holy Fire (2013)


Discography: Pop Will Eat Itself’s This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This! (1989), Erasure’s The Circus (1987), Depeche Mode’s Violator (1990), Nitzer Ebb’s Ebbhead (1991), The Charlatans’ Between 10th and 11th (1992), Curve’s Doppelgänger (1992), Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral (1994), Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995), Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ The Boatman’s Call (1997), New Order’s Get Ready (2001), U2’s How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004), Soulwax’s Any Minute Now (2004), The Killers’ Sam’s Town (2006), Sigur Rós’ Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008), 30 Seconds to Mars’ This is War (2009), PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake (2011), Glasvegas’ Euphoric Heartbreak (2011), The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s Belong (2011), Foals’ Holy Fire (2013), Warpaint’s self-titled (2014)


Interview: Hellyeah Bassist Reveals Why Pantera Won’t Reunite

Hellyeah is a rock/metal supergroup consisting of vocalist Chad Gray (Mudvayne), guitarist Tom Maxwell (Nothingface), guitarist Christian Brady (Magna-Fi), bassist Kyle Sanders (MonstrO), and drummer Vinnie Paul (Pantera). The band is currently on the North American traveling Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. You can click here to view our recap and photos of the event. We spoke to bassist Kyle Sanders at the show. You can view the interview below.


We’re here at the first day of Mayhem Festival in San Diego along with headliners Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, and many more amazing bands. Who in this lineup do you think has had the biggest influence or affect on your band?

Kyle Sanders (bassist): I would say Slayer, personally. But there’s some huge King Diamond fans in our band. I’ve played a lot of shows with Slayer before but not a full run, just a couple festivals and off-shows with them. It’s going to be really cool with those guys everyday for the next five weeks.

Can you remember the first time you heard about them or a memorable moment you had of the band?

Kyle: Originally, when I was getting into metal, it was kind of scary. I started with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but then I got into Black Sabbath and Slayer and all that kind of stuff. So my first impression back then was different, but now I couldn’t imagine life without them.

What four bands would you predict or hope to be on next year’s lineup?

Kyle: Well, they don’t do bands twice in a row, so I can’t say my band. I’d like to see Deftones out here doing their thing. Mastodon should be on it next year; it’s been a few years since they’ve did it. I like how old-school this year’s lineup is so I’d like to have Iron Maiden. Judas Priest is still kicking ass too.

813qmcfzgfl-_sl1500_ Album artwork for ‘Blood for Blood’ released in 2014

It’s been a year since your last album, Blood for Blood, came out. Can you reflect back on that album?

Kyle: It came out in June of last year and we started touring in April. It’s been a pretty good cycle so far and there’s no end in sight. We’re going pretty strong for the next couple months. It’s the fourth record and you try to get better and better each time and I think it is definitely the best this band has put out. It’s kind of been like a new life and fire in the band. We’ve been playing it for a year and a half and we’re not sick of it. We’re still putting more songs from the record into the set and playing most of it. It’s been an awesome ride and hopefully we’ll get back into the studio and take it to the next level.

Are there any thoughts towards a follow-up yet?

Kyle: There are thoughts. We know the time is coming, so rather than be overwhelmed, we’re trying to gather ideas and little bits and pieces of stuff. After these next two tours, we’re going to try to do something at the end of the year. We’ll get something out and get back on tour at the beginning of next year.

Any plans towards a musical shift or experimentation for the next album?

Kyle: It’s going to start the exact same way as the last one. We’re not going to change anything. The whole chemistry of how Blood for Blood started was a good setup and just organically came together. We’ll see what new ideas and flavors come to it.

Official music video for “Hush” single

The big thing you guys are currently doing is the #HushNoMore campaign. Can you talk about the events that led up to the single and the campaign?

Kyle: The song was actually written two years ago, so we didn’t write the song to be exclusive for a charity. It just came out naturally. The lyrics are really close to Chad Gray. If people understand it, then great, but if if they don’t get it, oh well. He’s not writing for that reason. You write for yourself. We were familiar with the charity organizers and they really loved the message. They pitched us the campaign and we were absolutely on board. It was just a really cool coming together of us both.

You’ve also had a cool history in other bands before Hellyeah. Can you talk about those bands and your relationship with them currently?

Kyle: Hellyeah started originally as an experiment. Pantera could only do their style and same with Mudvayne. So, this band was created so Chad and Vinnie and anyone else involved had the freedom to do something else. People always bring up the old bands, and of course we wouldn’t be where we are today without them, but the focus is Hellyeah. It’s cool where everyone came from because it brought us fans from those perspective bands and our younger fans learn about those old bands.


 Former Pantera guitarist, Dimebag Darrell, who was shot onstage in 2004

Are there any thoughts or rumors towards a reunion of Pantera, Mudvayne, or any other past bands of current Hellyeah members?

Kyle: People are always asking that and there’s always the offers, but Hellyeah is definitely the main focus. Pantera is not getting back together. And that’s because Pantera can’t get back together. They can do some sort of tribute, but it’s not a reunion without the full band. They’re not gonna reunite because it’s impossible. And Chad is always getting questions about Mudvayne and that’s just not his focus. We’re trying not to spread ourselves thin.

What’s coming up after this Mayhem tour?

Kyle: We have three days off after Mayhem and then a short headline run in the US with some festivals. Then we go straight to Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, which we haven’t gone to on this cycle yet. After that, we’re gonna start the new record. Mid-September, we’ll take a break and then get back in creative mode for writing and recording. The plan is to have the album done by the end of the year. I would imagine we’d release the album early next year and tour in the states and UK in promotion.

the everyday losers

Exclusive Premiere/Interview: The Everyday Losers Release “Scream” Music Video; Discuss Silverchair & Future Plans

The Everyday Losers is an alternative rock group located in Washington, IN. The band consisting of guitarist/vocalist brothers Dylan and Tyler Seidel, bassist Danny Norton, and drummer Damian Baker have begun making a name for themselves in the underground. Their accolades include recording with Phil Taylor (Future Leaders of the World) and John Lecompt (Evanescence, We Are the Fallen), releasing their debut album, three EPs, touring with Saliva, and a performance at Rockapalooza. We were able to premiere the band’s newest music video for single “Scream.” Band member Tyler Seidel also spoke to us about the track, upcoming album, Silverchair, and more. You can read the interview and watch the video below. Also, be sure to check out and feel free to donate to the group’s current Indiegogo campaign.

It’s been over a year since your debut album, Revel in the Chaos, was released. Reflecting back, were there any significant or notable aspects during the writing or recording process?

Tyler Seidel (Lead guitarist/backing vocalist): Some of those songs had been with us for years as we hadn’t been able to fund an entire album prior to that. The recording process began almost an entire year before the release. We went through so many different sessions for that record. Some of those songs were recorded up to 6 different times before we landed on what recording approach we wanted. It was a funny situation as we were doing the recording with our drummer at the time. Niko had quit the band towards the end of the year in 2013 while we were still recording the album. We finally landed on a new drummer, Damian Baker early 2014. We were put in a bind as our former drummer was continuing to record the album and our new drummer hadn’t even heard more than half of the songs before we hit the studio. We had this state of mind that this was the final attempt at finishing that record. As you may have guessed it, Niko knew the songs while Damian was hearing them the first time. In order to not compromise the recordings, Damian stepped down for the majority of the record and let Niko perform on the album. This was very honorable to me as he saw the bigger picture. Damian did make it on the recording of our newest song at the time “Outta my Head”.

Can you discuss the lyrical theme or message behind the newest single “Scream”?

Tyler: “Scream” is one of those songs that I had wanted to write for a while. Every time I wrote lines of that nature in other songs they were always scrapped. This is actually one of the only pieces of music on the album that I came up with, as Dylan is our prime music writer almost in its entirety. I felt a strong connection to this song so I dove into it with admittance that I have some issues. I had recently been diagnosed with anxiety as well as depression and began medication that helped me greatly. At the time, I had been researching mental illnesses that were interesting to me. I found a very personal bond between psychosis and schizophrenia. As I will openly admit that I do not suffer from either but I have had a bit of an uneven balance between what’s real and what is not. This song is about those instances. I refer to them as voices in the song. This is a statement in being self aware of an illness.

Are there thoughts towards a follow-up album yet?

Tyler: Yes, we are actually in the studio at the moment working. We had 20+ songs that we had narrowed down to fifteen so far, nine of which are already recorded. We hope to release a new album by the end of the year as well as an EP of the songs that we did not choose. The EP will not be outtakes or such, rather songs that didn’t fit the mold. For our follow up full-length album, we wanted a heavier record. The EP will feature the softer material we didn’t see fit to be included on the full-length.

What are some future plans and ambitions of The Everyday Losers (dream tours, collaborations, albums, music experimentation, etc)?

Tyler: We hope to be hitting the road as much as possible towards the end of the year. Currently our main ambition is to do an east coast tour run in collaboration with Dead Industry Records. Our dream tour would be with Local H. They are our favorite band to see perform. We would love the opportunity to even share the stage with them once. The current main goal for the group would to have a distribution deal for the new album. We want to play all the time. We love the road and if we aren’t performing we almost feel as if everything else we do is a waste of time. [laughs] As far as experimentation musically, I’d like to create an album that features an orchestra of sorts.

I’ve heard you guys are quite big fans of Silverchair. Care to delve a bit into your fandom and opinion on the band’s past and current state?”

Tyler: The Everyday Losers began by Dylan and I playing Nirvana, Alice in Chains and Silverchair covers. Our tuning on Revel in the Chaos as well as our chords are directly from Silverchair. [laughs] Dylan and I have been huge fans for years. Danny and Damian finally jumped on board in the past few years as well. We all believe Daniel Johns is one of the most under-appreciated musicians/songwriters out there. I was a big fan musically of the first two records but Neon Ballroom hit a nerve lyrically that catapulted my idolization of Daniel Johns. Through high school I got the typical comparisons to Kurt Cobain due to my long blonde hair and rough style but I was really just trying to be Daniel. [laughs] So it’s safe to say that my musical taste, clothing approach, lyrics, down to my silver Paul Reed Smith guitar reflects my love for Silverchair. We even started a venue in my hometown with my best friend that we called “Neon Ballroom.” Diorama was another masterpiece as I didn’t realize that music could be so complex but so simple at the same time. As I still enjoy the latter material from them it is not exactly the style I had hoped they would end on. Daniel Johns recently unveiled solo material that wasn’t half bad either. It was far from his origins but still interesting. Honesty, I do not see him going back to Silverchair any time soon or even considering it for another 8 years.

Watch Noiseheads Perform Intense Cover Of Nirvana’s “School”

Noiseheads are a DIY rock trio based in Florida that have been slowly gaining a solid underground fanbase and musical foundation for themselves. In 2013, the band released their debut LP, 1994, which was positively received here at Alternative Nation. More recently, the group has revealed their first material since in the form of a 3-song self-titled EP. We spoke to frontman Nick Gray about the EP, the common phrase ‘rock is dead,’ and his future plans for Noiseheads. Check out the full interview below. You can also watch the band cover Nirvana’s “School” live, filmed by Alternative Nation’s Doug McCausland.

Live cover of Nirvana’s “School” featuring Orange No.9’s Tod Elgnis on vocals

Let’s start at the beginning. Can you remember the event that sparked your initial love for music?

Nick Gray (frontman): Music has always been a big part of my life. I come from a musical family, so that definitely helped cement my passion for it early on.

And was there a moment that you realized music was not only going to be a passion, but also a career?

Nick: I’ve been playing since I can remember, but I started recording my own stuff when I was about 15 and kept at it until one day I had a song that caught the attention of an indie label. Up to that point, I had been doing it just for fun, but that was the first time I had ever thought about making any sort of career out of it.


You’re releasing your three track self-titled EP next month. I was hoping we could talk about each song lyrically. Let’s start with “Carpet Kite.”

Nick: We were rehearsing on new ideas one day and my drummer says, “You know, we should write a song called “Carpet Kite.” The very next idea we jammed on, I wrote the first line “Stole the sun rolling on a carpet kite,” and it just stuck. The song is full of references to aliens, authority, and a gazillion other things.

Next would be “Millennium Loser”…

Nick: I felt like that title, which was decided after recording it, sort of summed up what I was trying to talk about in the song. I don’t really ever start out with a clear idea as to what a particular song is going to be about, and this was no exception. But if you really try to figure it out, I think I’m talking about our generation’s sense of nostalgia for things, which seems to be multiplied a thousand times over in the social media age.

And last but not least can you talk about “Fellow Man”?

Nick: “Fellow Man” is the subject, victim, hero, criminal, etc., in every news story there’s ever been. A lot of what we see in the media tends to be meaningless bile blown up out of proportions, when events that actually matter don’t get the proper attention they deserve. So, this song is about those entities exploiting people for their own selfish purpose.

Official music video for “Carpet Kite” off new self-titled EP

Were there any artists you used as inspiration for this material?

Nick: I think if you listen closely to any of our music, you’ll hear a lot of different influences. I will say that I’ve been listening to Weezer’s entire discography for about a year, so that probably had some influence on the newer stuff, haha.

It’s been two years since your debut LP, 1994, came out. Can you reflect back on the writing and recording process of that album and if it differed from this EP?

Nick: 1994 being our first release, I felt like it had to be perfect. I was happy with the way recordings turned out, but I felt like I spent way too much time on it. This time around, once I wrote a song, we’d hash it out and press record pretty soon afterwards, which I think allowed us to harness some of that fresh energy. Recording it ourselves again, I didn’t just want to create the same sound as before.



Cover artwork from debut LP ‘1994’


About a year ago, you announced you met up with Cage the Elephant’s ex-guitarist Lincoln Parish to record some material. Did that material fall through or is it still to come?

Nick: We did meet with him about a year ago and I think we all got the vibe that it wouldn’t have really worked out. He kinda has his thing that he does, and we thought doing our own thing would ultimately turn out the way we wanted it to. No hard feelings though, he’s a cool guy.

I think one of my favorite Noiseheads’ tracks is “Divination” from way back then. Will the song ever get an official release on an album or do you see it just being a stand alone track?

Nick: We just recently did an unplugged performance for a televised program called “StudioAmped,” similar to Austin City Limits, on a regional PBS affiliate station. We had a few special guests musicians for that show, and I wrote out about 60 pages of sheet music for it. “Divination” was one of the tunes we played. I don’t know if it’ll ever get a proper release, but maybe one day.

Live performance of “Divinations” on StudioAmped

If someone runs up to you in the street and yells, “rock is dead!” What’s your gut reaction?

Nick: “Shut the fuck up.”

Who’s to blame for these “rock is dead” accusations? The record labels, Spotify, music listeners, Kanye West, or Gene Simmons?

Nick: Everyone is to blame. In all honesty, there’s some hard truth to a few of Gene’s statements. Rock is thriving in a lot of places, just not in the US. The old business model for record labels has failed, and so there goes any money they would’ve given to new promising bands. Who really listens to the radio anymore? The big wigs have no idea how to make anything new appeal to an audience, so they’re putting their money into “sure things,” resulting in most of US pop music sounding pretty much the same for the last 10-15 years. It really is a fucking mess.

Do you see the status of rock and the music industry shifting to a better place anytime soon?

Nick: If it continues as it does now, I really don’t. The only people that can save it are the listeners. You can’t just listen to someone you like and say, “Oh, they’ll make it,” because it’s just not going to happen these days without your active support. Go buy band shit. Go see a rock show. Quit waiting for someone else to make it happen. Go and make it awesome for you and everyone else. Pretty simple really.

What is the status of your ‘Rock is Dead’ project?

Nick: We wanted to release new music first before we moved forward with it, but I think that’s the next step: creating a compilation of new rock bands that consequently tour the entire US together. I just hope I’m not the only one excited about that.

Alternative Nation’s 2014 Reader’s Choice Music Video of the Year “Dust”

To give a brief touring history on Noiseheads, you’ve shared the stage with The Psychedelic Furs, Framing Hanley, Puddle of Mudd, and Fuel. Are there any big names I’m leaving out?

Nick: We’ve shared festival bills with Collective Soul, SOJA, M.U.R.S., and K. Flay as well. However, our favorite shows are with other upcoming groups. Every band on our current east coast tour is badass.

Who’s on your bucket list for touring with?

Nick: I absolutely love Soundgarden, Weezer, and Foo Fighters, but if I could afford to take every NEW rock band I enjoy on a massive world tour, I totally would.

What music styles or genres do you think you plan on experimenting with in the future of Noiseheads’ music?

Nick: Who knows? I think Noiseheads will always be predominantly rock, but if we can ever get to a point where the 3 of us can venture out to do other projects, I’m sure some will be surprised as to what we might individually come up with.

A Light Within Releases Second EP ‘Body Matter’

Previously featured on our Modern Artists Showcase Volume 23, A Light Within is a post-metal group consisting of vocalist/keyboardist Kyle Brandt, guitarist Jeff Irvine, bassist Andy Schiller, guitarist Josh Bennett, and drummer Nick Sloan. The band released their debut EP, Preface, in 2013 and have just recently followed up with the Body Matter EP via Static Tensions Recordings. The material was mixed by Molitoth and mastered by Nick Zampiello and New Alliance East.

Similar to the dynamics of Deftones’ more experimental works, Neurosis’ subtle diversity, or Isis’ evolving soundscapes, this release undeniably expands the horizon of the already vast genre. The unpredictability lays in Brandt’s vocals which reaches the bass-baritone level of Type O Negative’s infamous Peter Steele before heading back to a proggy-alternative scowl and everything in between. A Light Within’s Body Matter truly possesses alluring and expansive qualities spread across six solid tracks.

marco minnemann

Review: Marco Minnemann’s Solo LP ‘Celebration’

Marco Minnemann is a renowned drummer and multi-instrumentalist known for his work with the likes of Joe Satriani and Steven Wilson. The musician has previously released many eclectic solo albums and has consistently toured and written with The Aristocrats. You can view our review of Minnemann’s latest solo LP, Celebration, below.

As expected with most of his releases, the weird level dial is set to 11 within seconds. The opener, “Miami,” glosses jelly-filled guitar and horn parts over punk speed percussion. Psychedelia drives the title track along as Marco showcases his distinctive vocals amongst his other peculiar bells and whistles. With a more straight forward rocker approach, “It Always Seems” has a surprisingly stadium rock appeal, while the musicalities drift back to abnormal as “March of the Living Dead” struts in.

A subtly infectious melody is hidden in the ever-shifting tempos and rhythms within “How Can I Help You,” an absolute epitome of Minnemann’s solo talent. Blippy bass lines accompany a sentimental duet on “What Have You Done.” To continue the emotional driven compositions, “Greatest Gift In Life” reveals a softer side of the wacky musician. “Print Club” serves as the ideal centerpiece with a ten minute-long quirky keyboard and guitar vs. zany bass and percussion battle waging on.

“Ugly Sunrise” winds down the energy before building right back to a lively and bombastic peak. Both an English and Spanish version of “Everyone Likes a Rainbow” are presented, which contrasts simple spoken word over light instrumentation. Acoustic guitar is debuted for “Have a Great 3015,” a playful jam that also is fair play as a Marco-in-a-nutshell track. The tone and liveliness of “4000” is a bit low, halting the inclusive zest, yet providing a deserving, dynamic interlude.

Jazzy moods clash with the ambitious synths on “Thoughts Take Shape” that eventually arrive to a catchy arpeggiated pattern. Vocals come back for “Eclipse” and guide the listener through the schizophrenic soundscape of a dark folksy, progressive tune. On “Amina’s Birthday,” the spotlight shines down on Minnemann’s jangly guitar riffs while heavy distortion is coated on the closer track, “Better Place.”

Like always, the word ‘unpredictable’ comes to mind. Of course, there are the more inevitable audial and stylistic characteristics present in this release similar to the past, yet these songs continue to lather on more twists and turns. Marco Minnemann’s knack to both baffle and amaze remains a strong suit and in entirety, Celebration holds an astonishingly enjoyable cohesion.



Interview: SOiL Frontman Discusses Drowning Pool, Nu Metal, & Future Releases

SOiL is an alternative metal band that formed back in 1997. Since then, the group has released six studio albums, the most recent being Whole in 2013. Frontman Ryan McCombs left in 2004 to join Drowning Pool, yet has returned as they continue to release music and tour. We recently spoke to Ryan as he discussed nu metal, Drowning Pool, and the band’s future. You can view the interview below.

unnamed Promotional poster for US tour with Powerman 5000 & 3 Years Hollow

You’ll begin your tour with Powerman 5000 & 3 Years Hollow tomorrow. Can you discuss your relationship with these bands and some of the other groups you’ve shared the stage with in promotion of the last album?

Ryan McCombs (vocalist): We just got back from the states from doing a run in the UK and Europe with Coal Chamber. I’ve known Dez from way back then in the DevilDriver days. The rest of the Coal Chamber people were new to me, but I had a great time on the road with all of them. That was our first solid run since I had my stroke, so there were a bit more nerves involved. I’ve done past shows with different incarnations of the Powerman 5000 lineup, so I’m looking forward to it.

Who’s left on your bucket list of bands to tour with?

Ryan: I’ve been lucky enough to have either toured or played at a festival with almost anyone you can mention. There’s two bands that I don’t necessarily need to play with, but I would love to meet Joe Perry and Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Brian Johnson and Angus Young from AC/DC. I grew up listening to those bands and I never had the chance to shake their hands.

SO_W-C_1500x1500 Cover artwork for most recent album, ‘Whole,’ from 2013

Soil’s last album, Whole, was released in 2013. Reflecting back on that, were there any notable aspects of the writing or recording process?

Ryan: Just doing the record was significant to me. I was feeling a bit burned out on the music industry right before we did a 10th anniversary tour of the Scars album. And the more we spoke about making a new album, the more we realized we were on the same page. I think the big thing about Whole was that we were writing for ourselves instead of some record label businessman. Once we were in the studio, everything was much more relaxed with the help of producer Ulrich Wild. Luckily, the feedback has been good and people have said the album fits right after Scars and Redefine.

It’s been almost two years since the last record. Are there any thoughts towards a follow-up yet?

Ryan: We’ve actually just started throwing some musical ideas at each other. I’ve been playing around with some lyrics. But, I really don’t know what the state of the music industry is going to allow anymore. I don’t know if the market will support the financial side of getting a record on the shelves. Back in the day, bands would just release 45s every few months with two singles on it. Maybe that’s the next step for us. We’re toying with new music, but I don’t know how to come about it.

Official music video for “Shine On” from ‘Whole’ album

Let’s talk about Drowning Pool a bit, you were in the group for a good amount of time with two albums released. Would you say overall being involved was a positive experience?

Ryan: Well since I left, our paths have crossed a few times, whether it be playing in Dallas or together at a festival. Looking back, it was absolutely a positive experience. They put up with me a lot more than I put up with them. They’re a great bunch of rednecks. (laughs) It was a blessing and we had so much fun.

If the position eventually becomes open for whatever reason, do you see yourself possibly filling the spot as Drowning Pool’s vocalist once again?

Ryan: Oh, I don’t know. If you asked me five years ago if I would’ve rejoined SOiL, I would’ve said no. It’s hard to say. C.J. [Pierce; current Drowning Pool vocalist] was one of the first people to reach out to me after my stroke and helped me through the healing process. One thing I learned while being in SOiL is never say never.

Official music video for “Turn So Cold” from Drowning Pool’s self-titled album

Both bands you have been involved with have had the label of “nu metal” attached to them since the beginning. What does the genre mean to you?

Ryan: I have no idea. I didn’t understand back it then. I kind of understand it for Drowning Pool’s situation because of their image and style. They had the picture perfect nu metal look. Regarding SOiL, we were kind of lumped into that genre because we were in that era. Musically, we didn’t have the turntables or anything like that.

It seems as of lately, most artists from the nu metal era like Coal Chamber and Korn are still going strong. Are they any specific bands from the nu metal era that you’d like to see come back now?

Ryan: There were so many bands then and some that I still wouldn’t consider nu metal. Lars Ulrich had a record label for a hot minute and one of the bands he signed was called Systematic. But there were so many great bands coming out at once, we were lucky enough to have our single “Halo” and Drowning Pool had “Bodies” to push us through the years. A lot of bands didn’t make it and sometimes it just came down to dumb luck. Coal Chamber was one of those bands that always seemed to be one of the more talented bands out there but stayed at the same level. When it comes to their live show, I’ve never seen them bring anything but they’re A game. There’s tons of bands from that era that deserve respect because they are some great, talented musicians.

Besides upcoming tour dates, are there any other upcoming plans for SOiL or your musical career?

Ryan: I know there’s talk of more dates overseas with Coal Chamber doing a UK/Europe run and hitting Australia. We have the run with Powerman 5000 as well as festivals lined up this summer.

The Aristocrats

Review: The Aristocrats’ Third LP ‘Tres Caballeros’

The Aristocrats is an instrumental supergroup consisting of guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani). The trio recorded their third studio album, Tres Caballeros, at the infamous Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood, where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and Van Halen previously made music. You can view our review of the LP below.

Spazzy blues riffs acts as the central theme for “Stupid 7” while wild percussion and additional guitar jangles provide a more experimental and heavy aspect respectively. The playful build-up of “Jack’s Back” begs for an edge-of-your-seat listen showcasing a very fluid combination of all three musicians. As with most of the track titles, “Texas Crazypants” is indeed fitting due to the overblown country-swing excess. Govan and Minnemann’s work with Steven Wilson truly shines through with a wall of sound production style and progressive rock approach on “ZZ Top.” The sensual reverb liberally dolled out on “Pig’s Day Off” layers on top of shimmering, choppy guitar bits.

The Western motif laced through the record continues on “Smuggler’s Corridor, ” concluding with an a cappella chant of epic proportions. “Pressure Relief,” a 70’s/80’s fusion, saunters about an alluring jingle that acts as a central core for the composition. “The Kentucky Meat Shower” takes you down South for a no holds barred shred-off. The 11-minute closer, “Through The Flower” is notable for the schizophrenic pacing as gentle strumming transitions to thudding bass lines and on to a cohesive climax end.

Similar to their previous release, Culture Clash, this album revolves around a theme of absolute diversity within experimentation. Characteristics of blues, jazz, prog, and hard rock are blended together to form a chunky musical prowess puree. It may not always be easy to swallow, but damn does it have a good aftertaste. The Aristocrats’ Tres Caballeros exceeds high expectations established from three of the most talented, underrated, and unpredictable musicians.

tres-caballeros-artwork You can purchase The Aristocrats’ ‘Tres Caballeros’ by clicking here


GLUM Reveals Renowned Producer For Upcoming ‘Anhedonia’ EP

As previously reported, GLUM is an up-and-coming grunge rock group from Winchester, UK. The trio of frontman Rory Nash, bassist Callum Waldron, and drummer Jack Douglas, have been working on their debut EP titled Anhedonia. While struggling to find a producer for the release, the band has finally found the perfect fit.

Known for his work with Noel Gallagher, Bloc Party, Blood Red Shoes, and more, producer Ben Hampson will be recording the EP at Brighton Electric Studios. You can listen to demos of the tracks below under the EP teaser. GLUM’s kickstarter campaign is only but a few days from completion, so now is the time to contribute and pre-order your EP. Click here to view the Kickstarter page.

Asylum (demo):

Life’s Been Better (live):

Cocksure (demo):

Breeding Ground (demo):

Not Here to Stay (demo):

blacklist union

Interview: Blacklist Union’s Tony West Remembers Mike Starr, Andrew Wood, & Guns N’ Roses

Blacklist Union are a Los Angeles-based rock group that formed in 2004 by frontman Tony West. While the band has yet to hit mainstream, the act’s impressive accolades are stacking. They will release their fourth album, Back to Momo, on July 10th. We spoke to Tony West about the upcoming album, his past relationship with Alice in Chains’ bassist Mike Starr, the Seattle Sound, Guns N’ Roses, and more. You can view our interview below.

blacklist1 Cover artwork for ‘Back to Momo’

You guys will be releasing your upcoming album, Back to Momo, next month. Can you talk about how this album differs musically compared to past releases?

Tony West (frontman): The first three records are dealing with a lot of darkness, pain, and anguish. My first wife, girlfriend, and best friend died in my past and it definitely took a toll on me. I got to write with Todd Youth, who I basically grew up with and I have a lot of respect for. We set out to make a record that was light, fun, and real. I think we accomplished that.

Regarding the lyrics on this album, is there a central theme or specific message?

Tony: It is the same message in every other Blacklist Union release. Each song is about a real life experience. Nothing is contrived to sound cool, but rather each song is a story in its own right. Similar to how Steven Tyler, Bon Scott, Layne Staley would write. For instance, “Evil Eye” is about my mother and my quest to have a relationship with her my whole life, despite the fact that she was abusive. So, that song was about giving up that delusion and coming to terms with that. “Alive N Well Smack in the Middle of Hell,” which is our first single, is about being able to persevere and going to the big city despite dying, drama, and rumors that drag 99.9% of the people down and out. Every Blacklist Union song is very real and I think it comes across that way.

The band’s influences are quite diverse from classic rock to more modern alternative music. Which genres and artists influenced the sound of this upcoming album?

Tony: I call our music “street rock,” basically because it comes from the street and it’s as real as you get. For this album, we had the same influences that we’ve always had like Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, and Alice in Chains. We’re big Turbonegro fans. We’re really into punk rock like The Ramones. GBH is one of my favorite bands. We choose from stuff that strikes us as real and authentic and it’s a lot of grounding in blues and punk rock on this record.

Official Music Video for newest single “Alive N Well Smack in the Middle of Hell”

Currently, are there plans to tour in promotion of Back to Momo’s release?

Tony: I certainly hope so. We’re trying to get over to Europe right now. That’s our focus along with South America and Australia. Touring in the states is a whole different animal. It’s pretty difficult nowadays. 

Ideally what other bands would you want to tour with?

Tony: Of course I’d like to tour with Aerosmith. We’d like to do some dates with Backyard Babies or Sixx:A.M. or any band that is relevant in the 2000’s. We definitely don’t want to be going out with those 80’s bands. I think those bands should just hang it up. As matter of fact, I think it does more harm than good to new rock bands. I was born in 76′ and a lot of the punk bands I listened to in the 80’s are still going hard today and play clubs and pack in the house. All the rock bands that hit in the 80’s aren’t doing shit and are lucky to get people at their gigs. People know what is real without even consciously knowing. The kids in punk rock nowadays are wearing the same shirts that I was wearing.

You performed at a Mike Starr benefit show earlier this year. Did you have a relationship with Mike and what is your opinion on the Seattle scene in general?

Tony: I thank God for the Seattle scene. Mike Starr happened to be my roommate in 1994 and he was my dear friend and I loved him very much, which is why we play the Mike Starr show every year. Alice in Chains was a huge influence on me and Mother Love was even more huge. Singer Andrew Wood was probably my main inspiration. I love that music. I can’t stand Pearl Jam, but I love Mother Love Bone. If you compare Andrew Wood to Eddie Vedder, it’s like two different leagues. I actually ended up singing in Andy’s band, Malfunkshun.

“Diggin’ 4 Gold” Music Video Off 2012’s ‘Til Death Do Us Part’

Blacklist Union formed over ten years ago. Reflecting back, what would you say is the most significant event in the band’s history or your personal music career?

Tony: I think like I said, singing in Malfunkshun is a huge thing for me in my personal career. As far as Blacklist Union, we’re really recognized by a lot of peers and people I have respect for in both the business and artist side of the music industry. It’s really flattering to hear these big names enjoy our music. Right now we’re working with Vicky Hamilton, who also worked with Guns N Roses. They were huge to me when I was a kid. I ran away to Hollywood when I was thirteen because of them. I’m very honored to have my name thrown in the mix with these bands like Malfunkshun and Guns N Roses. I say this very humbly too, but it doesn’t get any better than that. The only way it’d get better is when Steven Tyler asks us to come with Aerosmith. I’m waiting on that call.

Besides the release of Back to Momo, what else is coming up for the band?

Tony: We’re doing a music video for our second single, “Evil Eye,” which will feature my son. On July 4th, we’ll be playing with John Corabi at the Whisky a Go Go. I have a lot of respect for that guy. Things are slowly unfolding and coming together with each passing day.

What do you see for the future of Blacklist Union and your music career?

Tony: My whole goal is making an impact. I was a kid who needed music. IT helped me survive. The most important thing is making an impact on someone who needs it.

mayhem fest

Alternative Nation’s Recap Of Mayhem Fest (Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada)

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest is an annual North American traveling summer metal music festival. This year’s headliners included Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, and The Devil Wears Prada as the Victory Records stage held Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Jungle Rot, Sister Sin, Sworn In, Shattered Sun, Feed Her To The Sharks, Code Orange, and Kissing Candice. The first date of the tour was located at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA. You can view Alternative Nation’s recap of the festival below. Interviews with artists from the event will be posted soon.


Chosen as the Coldcock Whiskey Band Winner, Kings of Carnage, a heavy metal act of Musicians Institute graduates and military veterans, warmed up the crowd on the cloudy San Diego day with a thrash, neo-classical blend. Easily the unforeseen highlight of the day, Code Orange fused the styles of hardcore punk rawness, modern metal riffage, and Swans-like drone for their compelling energetic performance. By emphasizing the melodies of metalcore with heavy metal tropes, Shattered Sun was capable of a tight set as the heat began to rise. Sworn In’s recent release, The Lovers/The Devil, proved to provide solid additions to their live presentation. Female-fronted Sister Sin brought diversity with a more hard rock execution.

To begin the triple threat of death metal, Jungle Rot’s vicious growls matched with lightning fast riffs struck fear into the swarming crowd. With more “core” characteristics, Thy Art is Murder and Whitechapel frontmen shared their humorous and intimidating traits respectively. Kissing Candice, drawing visual comparisons to Slipknot and Mushroomhead, brought the shock rock theatrics to the fest. Many may excuse the group for their mask gimmick, but the liveliness and intensity emitted by all five members boasted a contagious quality.

Perhaps the most mainstream of the main stage bands, The Devil Wears Prada dug into material from almost all their albums as well as the Zombie and Space EPs. The groovy Mudvayne/Pantera supergroup, Hellyeah, had a bit of a muddy mix during their performance but ended on a high note with hit-single “You Wouldn’t Know.” A big kudos to the one and only legend, King Diamond. A delightfully gothic backdrop set the mood for heavy metal and stunning falsetto vocals. The live premiere of their new title track, “Repentless,” served as a proper opener, while Slayer thrashed on. The middle of the set seemed to drag on a bit longer than necessary, but the “South of Heaven,” “Raining Blood,” and “Angel of Death” hat-trick kicked Southern California right where it matters.

As a whole, it is understandable that fan reception was mostly negative in regards to the quality and quantity of the lineup. When comparing to last year’s event, there were six less bands and two fewer stages this go round. I mostly agree with these opinions, yet I think it was a risky, commendable move of the organizers to showcase many up-and-coming groups. The inclusion of cult-classics such as King Diamond and Jungle Rot amongst the fresh ground-breakers Code Orange was my personal deal maker of this year’s Mayhem Fest. You can view pictures from many of the performances below, taken and edited by Nico Poalillo.



King Diamond:




The Devil Wears Prada:


Thy Art Is Murder:


Jungle Rot:


Knotfest 2015 Lineup Revealed

This year’s Knotfest lineup has just been revealed at the first day of Mayhem Fest. You can view the lineup below. The 3-day event will occur at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA on October 23rd to 25th. More bands will be announced as the festival comes closer. You can view our coverage of Day 1 and Day 2 of last year’s Knotfest.

Judas Priest
Bring Me the Horizon
Corrosion of Conformity
Ghostface Killah
Mobb Deep
At the Gates
Suicidal Tendencies
Cannibal Corpse
Body Count
All That Remains
Born of Osiris
Red Fang
The Sword
Devour the Day
Six Feet Under
Dying Fetus
Abysmal Dawn
Internal Bleeding
Green Death
and many more…


Exclusive Premiere: Malkasian’s Lyric Video For “Ghost”

As previously reported, Malkasian recently released his debut self-titled album earlier this month via Dead Industry Records. You can click here to purchase/stream the LP on Bandcamp. In more recent news, the solo artist has just revealed the lyric video for the fifth track off the album. You can watch the video for “Ghost,” directed by Noiseheads frontman Nick Gray, below.

Malkasian tracklisting:
1. From the Start… Waste
2. Fooled You
3. Fade Away
4. Taste So Right
5. Ghost
6. Ease
7. I for an I
8. Paradise Never
9. End of Time (live)
10. Fooled You (live)


Watch Mastodon’s “Asleep In The Deep” Music Video

Mastodon released their sixth studio album, Once More ‘Round the Sun, last year via Reprise Records. You can click here to preview/purchase the LP on iTunes. Just recently, the sludge metal group has revealed the music video for the sixth track off the album. Watch the video for “Asleep in the Deep”, directed by Skinner, Video Rahim, and Shane Morton, below.

Skinner stated, “This concept was birthed out of my curiosity for what a cat really does at night while we are asleep. Where do they go? Cats have a very mysterious myth to them and I thought it would be cool to explore that, as little nocturnal heroes. I decided to put a sort of Joseph Campbell hero myth spin on it and add some Jodorowsky psychedelia as well. I’m more than excited about the way it came out! I love it.”

Mastodon tour dates:
6/22 – Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7 Konzertfabrik
6/24 – Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg – Rockhal
6/26 – Dublin, Ireland – Olympia Theatre (with Bad Breeding)
6/27 – Cork, Ireland – Savoy
6/28 – Belfast, Ireland – Ulster Hall
7/1 – Malmo, Sweden – KB Hall
7/2 – Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Festival
7/3 – Turku, Finland – Ruisrock
8/7 – Montreal, Canada – Parc Jean Drapeau
8/12 – Oslo, Norway – Oya Festival
8/14 – Dinkelsbuhl, Germany – Summer Breeze
8/15 – Hamburg, Germany – Elb-Riot Festival
8/16 – Dornbirn, Austria – Conrad Sohm
8/18 – Koln, Germany – Essigfabrik (with The Raven Rage)
8/19 – Berlin, Germany – Kesselhaus (with The Raven Rage)
8/20 – Hasselt, Belgium – Festivalpark Kiewit
8/21 – Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop Festival
8/25 – St. Petersburg, Russia -SKK Arena (with Metallica)
8/27 – Moscow, Russia – Olimpiyskiy Arena (with Metallica)
8/29 – Readking, UK – Reading Festival
8/30 – Leeds, UK – Leeds Festival
8/31 – Istanbul, Turkey – 100% Metal Headbangers
9/2 – Thessaloniki, Greece – Principal Theater Club
9/3 – Athens, Greece – Gazi Hall Entertainment Stage
9/5 – Reykjavik, Iceland – Rokkjotnar
9/25 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Rock in Rio
9/27 – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Anhembi
9/28 – Santiago, Chile – Comes Louder Festival


Watch Trapt’s Lyric Video For New Song “Passenger”

Trapt will be releasing their sixth album, DNA, later this fall, which serves as the follow-up to 2013’s Reborn. The alternative rock/metal band crowdfunded over $56,000 via Indiegogo for the upcoming LP. You can click here to view the campaign. More recently, the lyric video for a track off the album was revealed on Loudwire. You can watch the video for “Passenger” below. Also, be sure to check out our interview with frontman Chris Taylor Brown by clicking here. Sons of Texas will be joining Trapt on the “Life in Your Own Hands Tour” next month. Tour dates can be viewed under the video player.

Trapt tour dates:
7/15 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep (with Sons Of Texas)
7/17 – Merriam, KS – Aftershock (with Sons Of Texas)
7/18 – Chicago, IL – The Cubby Bear
7/19 – Fridley, MN – Pickle Park (with Sons Of Texas)
7/23 – Flint, MI – The Machine Shop (with Sons Of Texas)
7/24 – Sharon, PA – Quaker Steak and Lube (with Sons Of Texas)
7/25 – Syracuse, NY – WKRL K-ROCKATHON (with Sons Of Texas)
7/26 – Stanhope, NY – Stanhope House (with Sons Of Texas)
7/27 – Northampton, MA – Pearl Street Night Club (with Sons Of Texas)
7/29 – Johnson City, TN – Capone’s (with Sons Of Texas)
7/30 – Wilmington, NC – Ziggy’s By The Sea (with Sons Of Texas)
8/2 – Columbus, GA – Sports Page (with Sons Of Texas)
8/4 – Destin, FL – Club LA (with Sons Of Texas)
8/5 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre (with Sons Of Texas)
8/6 – Little Rock, AR – The Rev Room (with Sons Of Texas)
8/7 – Springfield, MA – The Outland Ballroom (with Sons Of Texas)
8/8 – Tyler, TX – Clicks Live (with Sons Of Texas)
8/11 – Dallas, TX – Trees (with Sons Of Texas)
8/12 – Lubbock, TX – Jake’s Ballroom (with Sons Of Texas)
8/14 – Scottsdale, AZ – Pub Rock (with Sons Of Texas)
9/12 – Shreveport, La – XFest

eagles of death metal

Eagles Of Death Metal Debut New Single “Complexity” & New Album Details

Eagles of Death Metal, the collaborative side-project of Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes, have just recently announced their fourth studio album, Zipper Down, which will be released on October 2nd via T-Boy/UMe. The LP marks a follow-up to 2008’s Heart On. You can listen to the lead single, “Complexity,” below. Hughes stated, “The new album, Zipper Down, really represents to me an attitude and philosophy of life. One should not zipper up, they should zipper down and let it all hang out.” Homme added, “In an independent study, four out of three doctors say Zipper Down is an eargasm trapped inside a crazerbeam. And I believe them.” You can also view tracklisting, artwork, and upcoming tour dates under the video player.

Zipper Down tracklisting:
1. Complexity
2. Silverlake (K.S.O.F.M.)
3. Got A Woman
4. I Love You All The Time
5. Oh Girl
6. Got The Power
7. Skin Tight Boogie
8. Got A Woman (Slight Return)
9. The Deuce
10. Save A Prayer (Duran Duran cover)
11. The Reverend


Eagles of Death Metal tour dates:
6/16 – Glasgow, Scotland – The Garage
6/17 – London, England – KOKO
6/19 – Mérignac, France – Krakatoa
6/20 – Vitoria, Spain – Azkena Rock Festival
6/22 – Bologna, Italy – Botanique
6/23 – Zagreb, Croatia – INmusic Festival
6/25 – Werchter, Belgium – Rock Werchter
6/27 – Norrköping, Sweden – Bravålla Festival
6/28 – Odense, Denmark – Tinderbox Festival
6/29 – Berlin, German – Huxleys
6/30 – Prague, Czech Republic – Lucerna Music Bar
7/2 – Gdynia, Poland – Open’er Festival
7/4 – Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Rock A Field
7/5 – Belfort, France – Eurockéennes
7/6 – Milan, Italy – Carroponte
7/7 – Dornbirn, Austria – Conrad Sohm
7/9 – Novi Sad, Serbia – Exit Festival
7/10 – Trencin, Slovakia – Pohoda Festival
7/12 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Barby
7/14 – Athens, Greece – Fuzz Club
7/16 – Hegyalja, Hungary – Kingdom of Hegylja Festival
8/27 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Launchpad
8/28 – Denver, CO – Riot Fest
9/1 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
9/2 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
9/3 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore Ballroom
9/8 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Pyramid Cabaret
9/9 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
9/11 – Chicago, IL – Riot Fest
9/12 – Detroit, MI – The Underground Arts
9/15 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
9/19 – Toronto, Ontario – Riot Fest
10/24 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival
10/31 – Leeds, England – Beckett University
11/1 – Norwich, England – Norwich UEA LCR
11/2 – Bristol, England – O2 Academy Bristol
11/4 – Southampton, England – Engine Rooms
11/5 – London, England – The Forum
11/6 – Birmingham, England – The Institute
11/7 – Manchester, England – The Ritz
11/9 – Newcastle Upon Tyne, England – O2 Academy Newcastle
11/11 – Glasgow, Scotland – O2 ABC
11/13 – Paris, France – Le Bataclan
11/14 – Tourcouing, France – Le Grand Mix
11/17 – Cologne, Germany – Essigfabrik
11/18 – Zürich, Switzerland – Komplex Klub
11/19 – Munich, Germany – Kesselhaus
11/22 – Bremen, Germany – Aladin
11/30 – Vienna, Austria – Arena
12/7 – Nimes, France – La Paloma


Helmet Announce US ‘Betty’ 20th Anniversary Tour Dates

Helmet’s third studio album, Betty, was released on on June 21st in 1994 via Interscope Records. The LP featured singles “Biscuits for Smut,” “Wilma’s Rainbow,” and “Milquetoast.” Last year, the record hit its 20th anniversary and the band are currently touring in celebration. They have revealed the third and final US leg of the tour, in which the album will be performed in its entirety along with another set of fan favorites. Helmet will also be included at The Shindig Festival beside Godsmack, Stone Temple Pilots, Clutch, Chevelle, Anthrax, Reverend Horton Heat, Nothing More, Crobot, and More. Be sure to check out interview with frontman Page Hamilton by clicking here.

Helmet tour dates:
9/17 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony
9/18 – Amityville, NY – Revolution Bar & Music Hall
9/19 – Baltimore, MD – The Shindig Festival (non “Betty” show)
9/20 – Virginia Beach, VA – Shaka’s Live
9/22 – Winston Salem, NC – Ziggy’s
9/23 – Wilmington, NC – Ziggy’s By The Sea
9/24 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club
9/25 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits
9/26 – Orlando, FL – The Social
9/27 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – culture room
9/29 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn Birmingham
9/30 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
10/2 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk Austin
10/3 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger
10/4 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
10/6 – Albuquerque, TX – Launch Pad
10/7 – Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep
10/8 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre
10/9 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Theater
10/10 – St. Louis, MO – The Firebird


Review: Failure’s Comeback Album ‘The Heart Is A Monster’

Eighteen years ago, an alternative space rock group released one of the most uniquely impactful cult classics. And in recent fortunate news, that band has reunited to reveal a much anticipated follow-up album. Failure’s The Heart Is A Monster will hit shelves on June 30th via INresidence. Multi-instrumentalist Greg Edwards stated, “Thematically we’ve moved from the outer space of Fantastic Planet to inner space. From the dislocation of one’s identity to the complete erasing of it by sleep and dreams. I think we’ve used instrumentation in the service of mood and emotion to an even greater degree than on Fantastic Planet.” You can read Alternative Nation’s review of Failure’s The Heart is a Monster below.

Alarms of melodic dissonance generate the atmosphere of “Segue 4”, a continued instrumental theme of Fantastic Planet. As the whirring synths finally align into cohesion along with bass and drums, the adhesive hooks of the single “Hot Traveler” soar amongst the voluntary harmonies. “A.M. Amnesia” launches a wall of sound, which delicately evolves into a series of noisy verses. To settle the guitar-heavy tones previously presented, “Snow Angel” offers a light touch with acoustical polyphonies. “Atom City Queen” presents the group’s abrasive nature with a highly-distorted guitar battling the grinding bass.

Calming strings of “Segue 5” transition to “Counterfeit Sky,” boasting a solid hook that gracefully skews the quirky, whimsical rhythms. Originally composed in 1992, the updated version of “Petting the Carpet” sounds light years more fresh and compelling with alluring vocals gently pulling you farther into the psychedelia. The trip winds down as Pink Floyd-esque piano work concocts the “Mulholland Dr.” dreamscape. Keeping you on your toes, “Fair Light Era” is a punchy shift to a more riff-centric world. After yet another segue, “Come Crashing,” formerly from the Tree of Stars EP, stack airy keyboard leads over a digestible song structure for a solid track.

The serenity contained within “Segue 7” is jolted back as “The Focus” delivers a hefty handful of hard rocking jabs. While perhaps not holding the most experimental or catchy qualities, “Otherwhere,” still serves as a significant cog in the eccentric clockwork. A resonance of sleep induction-like timbre is conveyed for “Segue 8”, setting the mood for the modestly rich tonalities of “I Can See Houses.” Some may claim an ambient instrumental as a closer track would drift towards the anti-climactic side of the spectrum, but “Segue 9” is a simply fitting conclusion to this modern day audio odyssey.

In the same vein that one does not simply glance at the stars without a passionate gaze of wonder and curiosity, one could not lend an ear to Failure’s musical compositions without being consumed in the galactic layers of melodious bliss. As is true with previous releases, this album is meant to be swallowed as a whole in order to fully become submerged within the dynamic cosmic setting. The Heart is a Monster is a reckoning force that achieves success as a comeback and a glorious landmark in the evolution in alternative and space rock. I dare anyone to not get lost in this album.

Overall score: 9 out of 10


You can click here to pre-order Failure’s The Heart is a Monster on iTunes

metal allegiance

Metal Allegiance Supergroup (Megadeth, Testament, Dream Theater, Etc.) To Release Album

Metal Allegiance is a supergroup with a large amount of guest musicians similar to the likes of punk rock/hardcore project Teenage Time Killers. With core members including Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick, The Winery Dogs/ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, and Mark Menghi, the band is already potentially badass. The self-titled debut album will be released on September 18th via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. You can view the album trailer, tracklisting, and artwork below.

1. “Gift Of Pain”
Vocals: D. Randall Blythe (Lamb of God)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)
Additional Lead Guitar: Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer)

2. “Let Darkness Fall”
Vocals: Troy Sanders (Mastodon/Killer Be Killed)
Lead, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums & Percussion: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)
Additional Bass: Mark Menghi, Rex Brown (Kill Devil Hill, ex-Down/Pantera)
Additional Screams: D. Randall Blythe (Lamb of God)

3. “Can’t Kill The Devil”
Vocals: Chuck Billy (Anthrax)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)
Additional Lead Guitar: Phil Demmel (Machine Head), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura)

4. “Dying Song”
Vocals: Philip H. Anselmo (Down/ex-Pantera)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: Mark Menghi
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)

5. “Scars”
Vocals: Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) & Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)

6. “Destination: Nowhere”
Vocals: Matthew K. Heafy (Trivium)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)
Additional Lead Guitar: Matthew K. Heafy (Trivium)

7. “Wait Until Tomorrow”
Vocals: dUg Pinnick (King’s X) & Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums, Percussion & Additional Vocals: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)

8. “Triangulum” (I. Creation, II. Evolution, III. Destruction)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)
Additional Lead Guitar: Misha Mansoor (Periphery), Ben Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan), Charlie Benante (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death), Phil Demmel (Machine Head), Matthew K. Heafy (Trivium), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses/Art of Anarchy)

9. “Pledge Of Allegiance”
Vocals: Mark Osegueda (Death Angel)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)
Additional Lead Guitar: Charlie Benante (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death), Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer), Andreas Kisser (Sepultura)

10. “We Rock” (Dio cover) (deluxe edition/vinyl bonus track)
Vocals: Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) , Chris Jericho (Fozzy), Tim “Ripper” Owens, Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy/The Agonist), Chuck Billy (Anthrax), & Steve “Zetro” Souza (Exodus)
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick (Testament)
Bass: David Ellefson (Megadeth)
Drums: Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater/The Winery Dogs)
Additional Lead Guitar: Andreas Kisser (Sepultura), Phil Demmel (Machine Head), Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer)



CHON To Support The Dear Hunter On Upcoming US Tour

CHON released their debut LP, Story, earlier this year via Sumerian Records. The album was mixed by Shaun Lopez (†††, Far) and features guest drummer Matt Garstka (Animals as Leaders). You can click here to preview/purchase the LP on iTunes. Recently, the progressive instrumental band announced they will be joining The Dear Hunter and Gates for a US tour starting in September. Chon also have dates lined up with Polyphia and Yvette Young next month. Check out all upcoming tour dates below.

CHON tour dates:
7/15 – San Francisco, CA – Brick & Mortar Music Hall (with Polyphia, Yvette Young)
7/17 – San Diego, CA – The Irenic (with Polyphia, Yvette Young)
7/18 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room (with Polyphia, Yvette Young)
7/19 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo (with Polyphia, Yvette Young)
8/14 – Hythe, UK – Hevy Festival
8/16 – Liverpool, UK – O2 Academy (with The Fall of Troy)
8/17 – Newcastle, Australia – O2 Academy (with The Fall of Troy)
8/18 – Edinburgh, UK – Studio 21 (with The Fall of Troy)
8/19 – London, UK – Electric Ballroom (with The Fall of Troy)
8/20 – Manchester, UK – Gorilla (with The Fall of Troy)
8/21 – Compton Martin, UK – ArcTanGent Festival
8/22 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms (with The Fall of Troy)
8/23 – Eindhoven, Netherlands – Dynamo (with The Fall of Troy)
8/25 – Hambug, Germany – Logo (with The Fall of Troy)
8/26 – Berlin, Germany – Magnet Club (with The Fall of Troy)
9/11 – Akron, OH – Musica (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/12 – Chicago, IL – Riot Fest (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/13 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/15 – Ferndale, MI – The Loving Touch (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/16 – St. Louis, MO – The Ready Room (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/18 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theatre (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/19 – Denver, CO – Marquis Theatre (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/22 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/23 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/25 – Orangevale, CA – The Boardwalk (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/26 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/27 – Fresno, CA – Strummer’s (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
9/29 – West Hollywood, CA – The Roxy Theatre (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/1 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/2 – San Diego, CA – The Irenic (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/3 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/6 – Austin, TX – The Parish (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/7 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/9 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/10 – Atlanta, GA – Vinyl (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/11 – Newport, KY – Thompson House (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/13 – Washington, DC – Rock And Roll Hotel (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/15 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/16 – Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/17 – Boston, MA – The Royale (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)
10/21 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza (with The Dear Hunter, Gates)