JUDAS PRIESTESS The World’s ONLY All-Girl Tribute to the Metal Gods, JUDAS PRIEST, is a rock phenomenon! Formed in 2009, this striking group of leather and chain-clad, multi-talented, NYC based women rockers has created a world-wide reputation, complete with rave reviews from music critics, adoring fans, and has the blessing of the Metal God himself, Judas Priest front man Rob Halford on VH1 Classic’s popular That Metal Show. Legendary Judas Priest guitarist, KK Downing, featured the group on the Third Anniversary of his Steel Mill website, which called them Metal’s top female tribute! Al Atkins, original Judas Priest vocalist and co-author of Victim of Changes contacted the band to say “You women rock – fantastic version of Victim!” As the press quotes attest, this band has numerous feature articles and has been written about in publications such as MTV.com, Guitar World, Blabbermouth, Decibel, High Times, New York Press, and many others.
Three years after releasing their self-titled national debut, Virginia’s SAINT DIABLO have returned with their sophomore metal masterpiece entitled ‘Devil Horns and Halos’. The album was produced by Tim “Rumblefish” Gilles (Anthrax, Taking Back Sunday, ill Nino) at Big Blue Meenie studios in Jersey City, NJ. The new album features ten ferocious tracks of raging metal, which capture the band’s abilities as songwriters and performers like they’ve never been showcased before.
A lot can happen in three years time however. “Our label Eclipse Records elected the option to deliver a second album, so we got the opportunity to work with Tim Gilles of Big Blue Meenie recording studios. After spending a couple months in pre-production with his team, we began tracking the new material with Tim in September of 2013” states guitarist Justin Adams. “We were on cloud nine, working with a well-known producer in a world-class recording studio. Tim’s approach to capturing our sound was so inspirational. This was what we dreamed of all our lives, and then life threw us some pretty significant detours… I got divorced, and shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with cancer.”
“He was faced with some difficult decisions, and the lyrics for ‘Survive This’ were written about him” states vocalist Tito Quinones. “I was impressed with how he balanced the pain, faced his mortality, and was still able to write and perform some of the most powerful music that’s ever come out of him. Right around the same time, our previous bass player had to leave the band and our tour manager Tyler Huffman replaced him.” Tito continues, “My wife and I had to move twice in 2014 due to her job, then my mother who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s passed away. We were very close and her death hit me real hard. I dropped everything, went back to Puerto Rico, and just spent some time with family.”
The title track ‘Devil Horns and Halos’ however, hits particularly close to home for the band. “The honest folks wear their devil horns, so you know what you’re getting… they are out for themselves” states Tito, “but the halo-wearers are the masked ones you’re unsure of. They’re supposed to be the good guys, but often they end up showing their true colors. The frustration and confusion of this dynamic is what Devil Horns and Halos is all about.”
In countless ways however, the band saw beauty come out of tragedy in the time between the last album and this one. Drummer Brian Bush welcomed the birth of his son, the band eventually completed the new album, and Justin Adams is now finally cancer free.
“At the end of the day, I believe it’s safe to say that we’ve all finally arrived to a common place, and that place is a re-invigorated and re-imagined SAINT DIABLO that is ready to release the very best album and live performances of our careers. We are fortunate to be able to create from the things that life gives us” states Tito Quinones. “Being able to share these things with the world is what it’s all about”.Recently caught up with Tito, here’s what he had to say.
MINDSHIFT is a Swedish melodic metal band which was founded in 2006 by guitarist Johan Lund. Over the years, the band went through various lineups (as most bands in their early stages do), and finally released their debut album No Regrets in early 2012. For Johan however, the original lineup never reached its full potential. That all changed in the fall of that year when singer Marcus Mao Uggla (who played bass in Blowsight at the time) joined the band on vocals. It was the moment when Mindshift took things to a new level. They quickly began writing new material, and a new era of Mindshift began. Continue reading Up Close And On Fire – Episode 5 Johan from Mindshift
Formed by brothers Chris, Matt & Kent Brooks, New Zealand band Like A Storm has made huge waves in both the U.S & Europe – labeled “one of the hottest buzz bands out there right now,” by National Rock Review. Continue reading Up Close And On Fire – Episode 4 – Matt from Like A Storm
We are Relic Hearts. We live in Pennsylvania and we make music. Everything you see and hear on our page was envisioned by us, and then put to your computer screen (sometimes with a little help from our friends)! When you pick up a song of iTunes, your money goes straight to our next pack of guitar strings, or maybe a nice, fancy little camera lens :) Your support literally means everything to us. We are extremely grateful for every single one of you who watches and shares our videos - and we promise, as long as you keep doing that, we'll keep making them.
“ONE OF THE BEST BANDS I HAVE EVER SEEN”
We’re just 5 girls who dig playing AC/DC more than anything! We aren’t AC/DC, and we don’t pretend to be. In BACK:N:BLACK, we just try to bring our own love for AC/DC’s music as fans to the stage, show the songs the kind of musical respect they deserve — and put on a show we’d like to go see! We started out in 2010 and are based in Switzerland.
For the truth, the whole truth and some shit people on Wikipedia made up- check out our story here:
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- How did the band members meet?
We’ve gone through more lineup changes than Whitesnake but originally it all started from Craigslist. We vaguely knew each other from past bands and ultimately connected through classified posts.
- What exactly is “guerilla punk”? It seems to be something you’re known for.
You know, originally it was just something that someone had labeled us as after doing a tour where all the venues coincidently or not happened to be taco shops. I think as a band we’ve always had this DIY mindset where we’ve focused on controlling our own path and making things happen rather than relying on that fabled “big break”. At the end of the day, we’re responsible for our own successes and failures, 100%.
- How did you go about releasing your early material?
With all the heart and passion we could muster but with little of the money or resources a proper release deserved. We pressed a few hundred EPs independently, folded them into handmade envelopes and stenciled each individually. Lyrical content has always been a key focus of the band so we even included handwritten lyric sheets. I still remember the weekend we committed to the undertaking. We were all smiles for the first handful until we got about a hundred in several hours later.
- Was it easy to gain the following you have?
Easy is relative. We’re beyond appreciative and fortunate to have the friends and fans that we do but it definitely took every day of the last five years to work towards where we are today. We’re consistently the “odd men out” at shows, playing to both spectrums of audiences from indie to deathcore. In the end, it seems that some people tend to latch on to us as some sort of outcast or underdog though. We’ll take it.
- What made you choose to go after sociopolitical topics?
For where I am in my life I really just wanted to challenge myself to write on a different plane than many of my peers. I didn’t (and sometimes still don’t) feel I have anything more of value to add to the conversation of love and hate. So what I do write about is change and struggle at both a personal level and as a society.
- Do you think that being politically charged will alienate you from potential peers (or even fans)?
That’s a good question. I suppose it could but I’d hope our approach to it doesn’t. We’re not here to shove our political views down anyone’s throat. Rather, just to open some eyes to what’s out there and to question long rooted beliefs including our own. The best part about talking about this kind of stuff freely to open minded people is that our ideas are constantly growing and evolving.
- Why did you almost forgo instrumentation on the song “Self-Entitled”?
For the song “Self-Entitled” I had actually came into practice with the lyrics and melody already planned out. I asked our drummer to give me a steady kick to show everyone the idea and that’s pretty much what we stuck with. Looking back, I really like the fact that the vocals (and lyrics) are at the forefront of the song.
- How well did “Still Life” do after its release?
“Still Life” did better than we could have hoped for. I had just left doing vocals for The Hostage Situation at the time and came into this as more of a project just for fun. I never thought that 5 years later it would have led us to seeing a large portion of the US and connecting with some of the most genuine friends and fans I’ve ever experienced in my career.
- What is a “net label” and why did you choose such a method for furthering “Still Life” distribution?
A net label runs under creative common licenses to promote and distribute music online while the artist retains all the rights to the music. It just made sense for us to team up with net labels such as Torn Flesh Records that have proven track records of quality releases and provide another hand in the pot helping us get our music out to new audiences.
- What is the significance of the crossroads artwork on “The Death of Rhythm and Blues?
The imagery as a whole for The Death Of Rhythm And Blues was based around the story of Robert Johnson. He was said to have sold his soul to the devil for talent, notoriety and all that comes with it. It was a real challenging time for American Standards. We had just lost our original guitarist and drummer right in the middle of recording what we had planned to be a full length follow up to the Still Life album. We felt we had put so much time and work into building the band up and now we were at this metaphorical crossroads of starting over from scratch or choosing to move forward despite the obstacles.
- Why did you end up leaving the We Are Triumphant and Victory Records labels?
We had a very indirect relationship with Victory. They distributed the Still Life album but it pretty much ended there. We were signed to We Are Triumphant back in 2012 and found out soon after that it wasn’t for us. The label dealt more in quantity of artists over quality of music. They didn’t do a thing in lines of artist development. At the end of the day it was an endless roster of revolving bands being asked to promote a failing label.
- What has been your best show so far?
That’s a tough one. We’ve been fortunate enough to share the stage with so many bands that I look up to such as Every Time I Die, Norma Jean, Comeback Kid, Emery, Atreyu, Stray From The Path etc… Honestly, some of our best shows though have been the small ones in warehouses and houses where people are just experiencing the genre for the first time. That’s where I’m taken back to my first time connecting to this style of music and it gives me that instant nostalgia.
- Are you planning to play any local shows anytime soon?
Our next two local shows are;
May 19th at Club Red in Mesa with Atreyu
June 8th at Club Red in Mesa with Winds Of Plague & Rings Of Saturn
- How did you finance and release “Hungry Hands”?
Hungry Hands was the product of crowd funding and successful bartering. We had a modest goal that we were able to achieve with the help of our friends, family and fans then we made that shoestring budget work. It was the first time we released on CD, vinyl and cassette and we also got a music video out of it.
- What are your next plans?
We’ll be touring through May with the very awesome Coma Prevail (ex-The Bled/Scary Kids Scarring Kids) then recording the new full length at King Size Sound Labs in California in June.
- Final Thoughts
Watch The Twilight Zone.
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This week LadySpitfire presents Continue reading Up Close and On Fire – Episode 3 – JingerKroa
Up Close and On Fire with LadySpitfire is brought to you by Dragons Den Tattoo Studio, Kingston PA.
This week LadySpitfire presents