Pointfest 30 (Saturday)
Rob Zombie was born Robert Bartleh Cummings on January 12, 1965. He developed an interest in art and drawing in high school but, with his creativity hampered by the sleepy Massachusetts town, left for New York when he was 18. He enrolled in Parsons School of Design and there met Shauna Reynolds, better known as Sean Yseult. Sean was playing keyboards in a band with Ivan de Prume and, when their band broke up, Yseult and Zombie (who was going by Rob "Dirt" Straker) decided to start their own band. Later, in 1987, White Zombie released their first full-length album, Soul-Crusher. Reception of the album was mixed, with members of the punk community (including Kurt Cobain, Thurston Moore, and Iggy Pop) expressing a keen interest in the unique music.
By 1998, White Zombie had three more albums (two of which went platinum), and multiple Grammy nominations, had moved to LA, and developed a huge fan base. Rob Zombie also released his solo album, Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside The Spookshow International, that year. With the sensation of his solo album, White Zombie disbanded and Rob embarked on his solo career. Zombie followed the album's prosperity with the release of The Sinister Urge in 2001 which, despite experimenting with different musical styles, became a huge success and eventually went platinum.
Educated Horses was released in 2006 and more of Zombie's musical experimentation can be found on the album. Rob Zombie backed away from his trademark metal style in favor of a slightly softer glam rock sound on some of the record's tracks. The album's success rivaled that of Hellbilly Deluxe, reaching #5 on the Billboard 200. Rob Zombie's latest album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls and the Systematic Dehumanization of Cool, was released in February 2010. While physical CD sales were lower than expected, digital sales did quite well, prompting Zombie to state that this will probably be one of his last actual CDs, although he will continue to release music.
Zombie is currently working on a new film, Lords of Salem, the soundtrack for which will be performed by his band, with plans to release a new album after the movie's release. In the meantime, fans can see Rob on his upcoming tour schedule, which includes 2011 tour dates on the Hell on Earth tour with Slayer and Exodus. The North American tour will only include twelve tour dates, with most of those located in Canada. To see if hell is coming to a town near you, check out the 2011 tour dates posted on Eventful.
10 Years: Based in Knoxville, TN, 10 Years is an alternative hard rock band with an incomparable sound that is destined to create an island of its own. Formed three years ago, 10 Years created a strong underground following with their independent release Killing All That Holds You. In 2005, 10 Years signed with Republic/Universal Records, entered the studio with producer Josh Abraham (Staind, Velvet Revolver) and recorded their debut album The Autumn Effect.
The Autumn Effect has arrived just in time to counteract the cynicism and to take rock music to its next logical destination. Humanity is slowly shutting down, says the band's frontman Jesse Hasek, who points to the current rock scene as a prime example of this lack of community. Music is supposed to be about intensity and feeling, but there's no thinking behind the music that's out there today. We want people to think, to feel emotions again. We're always plugged in, or connected to something, part of the machine, but the more we plug in, the less human we become.
10 Years has evolved from a wake of high school metal bands, to the more melodic, heavy fusion of The Autumn Effect. Less is more, the band says of their sound, and nowhere is that more apparent than the summer radio hit, Wasteland. The title track swirls as an intrepid soundscape with an influx of modern aggression, from a whisper to a scream that could fill a stadium, from strum to angst and back again. Sledgehammer riffs propel the cosmic Empires, while the sun-drenched Prey builds into a heavy metal gape, the perfect combination of breezy pacing and humid undertones. Melody marches through Waking Up and The Recipe is an exhilarating blitz of frenetic energy, while Half-Life kicks the ears in, each track exhibiting a new, distant depth of 10 Years' that seamlessly stretch them, morphing into a progressive realm far beyond the scope of modern flash-in-the-pan comparisons.
The Autumn Effect resonates as much lyrically, as it does musically. Prey, for instance, was inspired by the band's move to Los Angeles to record their debut album, and Hasek's observation that people in L.A. drive cars worth more than some of the houses in their Tennessee hometown. Empires is about this generation of people who are addicted to material possessions and rely upon these possessions to satisfy all the needs of life. The Recipe is about how casual consumption of lust with random strangers devalues and destroys the ability to love. We are living in an individualistic ego driven society that celebrates fame, lacks ambiguity that is incapable of deep sustained attention with no discontinuity between life and art. Seasons to Cycles is about people who build walls to separate themselves from others. In building walls we lose contact with people and we dont realize these same walls confine the growth of relationships. Whether we're talking about love, substance abuse, temptation, or whatever, all the songs are about life, and the emotions that we all go through, says Hasek. Life is an organic process of growth and decay, and it is unavoidable in nature.
Over the course of the past year, 10 Years has opened for the likes of Velvet Revolver and Static X, more than holding their own, while making new fans all along the way. 10 Years offer more than just music and words they deliver a mission statement... Just call The Autumn Effect the soundtrack to our new and improved lives, a signpost to a future where we're more than just cogs in the machine, but vibrant beings that can touch the God within.
Megadeth: Less than a minute into United Abominations opening track, "Sleepwalker," Dave Mustaine and Megadeth make their intentions clear: to deliver nothing less than a jarring, shocking and absolutely awe-inspiring rude awakening to the heavy metal community.
A classically tinged intro that instantly recognizable, nerve-rattling, gut-wrenching chug-chug that unmistakable, sneering wail and then BAM: Wake Up, Heavy Metal Masses!
Wake Up, Dead! Megadeth is back to spark your mind and stir your soul with a shot of adrenaline that forces you to react.
Sevendust: Sevendust tour dates will take the Atlanta band throughout North America this 2011. The heavy metal act emerged in 1997 with thrashing guitar riffs, heavy hitting drums, and screeching vocals to command attention from headbangers across the nation. Sevendust tour dates have been scheduled nationally to promote their latest album, Cold Day Memory, which was released in 2010. Don't miss a date on the Sevendust concert schedule (2011); Use Eventful as your Sevendust concert calendar.
Sevendust quietly appeared in 1997 with their self-titled debut and after years of touring they garnered a Gold record and a name for themselves within the Nu-Metal world. In 1998, Sevendust was invited to perform at the Dynamo Open Air Festival and the Ozzfest tour, expanding them to a national audience. They exploded onto the Billboard 200 with their sophomore set, Home, which reached #19 on the charts and earned another them Gold certification. In 1999, Sevendust tour dates were booked at Woodstock 1999 and they also joined Slipknot for the Tattoo the Earth Tour in 2000.
The new millennium brought more success for the group and they released another six albums and charted over a dozen singles on the Modern Rock singles chart. More recently, Sevendust toured with Puddle of Mudd and Chevelle on the Carnival of Madness Tour and with Korn on the Music As A Weapon 5 Tour. In support of their latest release, Cold Day Memory, Sevendust tour dates are scheduled across the nation. Stay on top of Sevendust tour dates and concert schedule (2011) information using Eventful.
Trapt: Trapt are a four-piece post-grunge/alternative metal band originating from Los Gatos, California in the United States, but is currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.
TapRoot: Stephen Richards: vocals * Michael DeWolf: guitars * Philip Lipscomb: bass * Jarrod Montague: drums
I make an impact on lives/through truth as well as lies I overcome your eyes and leave an etched memory forever/It's my gift
"We just want to reach as many people as possible," says TapRoot singer/lyricist Stephen Richards. "I think our message and our music can affect a lot of people in a positive way, so we want it to be very successful for that reason and that reason only." TapRoot's Velvet Hammer/Atlantic debut, "GIFT," unveils the Michigan-based foursome's distinctive hard rock sound, an insistent sonic whirlpool of staccato riffing, relentless rhythms, and memorably hook-laden choruses, made all the more potent by Richards' emphatic throat-rending vocals and impassioned lyricism. Tracks such as "Again and Again" and "Now" possess a transcendent raw power, an emotional force that demands an equally strong response.
Best friends since their early teens, Mike DeWolf and Stephen Richards attended high school together in the hallowed rock territory of Ann Arbor, spending much of their free time playing in various rock bands. Best efforts not withstanding, it wasn't always a pretty sight. "When we were 15 and 16-years-old, we were playing in these death metal bands with 25-year-old guys that just had no talent whatsoever," Richards says, laughing. As they hit their twenties, Richards and DeWolf began jamming around with a pair of University of Michigan students, drummer Jarrod Montague and bassist Philip Lipscomb, who shared a house with Stephen's cousin. Taking inspiration from such stalwart veterans as Rush, Faith No More, and Tool not to mention Stephen's serious Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fixation TapRoot officially formed in late 1997, and quickly cut the five-track "PIMP ASS SOUNDS" cassette if only for friends and the few/the proud, their early fans. In the wake of the tape's proliferation, as boosted by continued gigging, the quartet quickly developed a loyal local following and were embraced by U of M's Michigan Daily for creating "music that crushes, soothes, excites, more often than not, in the same song." Right from the start, TapRoot placed themselves among the new breed of young bands taking advantage of the internet's possibilities for innovation and independence, as well as the opportunity to make deeper, more personal, connections with an audience. In April of 1998, they committed a friendly takeover on a fan's TapRoot site one of a remarkable 30 such sites now operating and using Mike's graphic design abilities and Philip's computer skills, turned it into their official page.
"The internet was a huge help in getting the positive reaction we got early on," Richards enthuses. "We're up to 90,000 hits now. We're able to reach thousands of kids in a split second. You can't beat it."
In addition to disseminating information about the band, the site also served effectively as a distribution base for their first self-released CD, "SOMETHING MORE THAN NOTHING." The group continued their entrepreneurial and musical success at the end of 1998, with the release of the "MENTOBE" EP, which included three new tracks, including the title song. (The EP was reissued a year later as the "UPON US" mini-album with three bonus songs, including "Again and Again.")
"We burned them at the U of M lab," Stephen says, detailing the process by which TapRoot sold some 10,000 CDs. "I'd personally hand package it and send it out myself and we'd do it all at cost. Starting off, it was sending out a couple of CDs every week or two, but it slowly progressed to getting 25 orders a day. These kids would send checks in my name, cause I was just using my personal bank account, and I kept getting all these checks and money orders made out to me. Some were even sending cash, taking that chance just to get our music."
As the buzz around taproot continued to build, Stephen sent a demo to Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, who were about to release their debut album and were looking to "work" with up-and-coming bands. A friendship grew between the two bands, with Durst promising to sign and produce TapRoot as soon as possible. However, it wasn't until TapRoot began getting interest from other labels that Durst made his pitch, an offer Stephen describes as "a bunch of bullshit." When TapRoot earned the chance to head out to Los Angeles to play a showcase for producer/impresario Rick Rubin, Durst finally snapped. "We got home from Los Angeles on the day that Limp were in town to do Family Values and that's when the message was on my machine," Stephen says. "I was in shock, hearing someone so pissed at me, just for looking out for my band's best interests." The now-infamous message begins ominously: "Steve. Fred Durst. Hey man, you fucked up. You don't ever bite the hand that feeds in this business, bro"
"To sum it up, it was 'you fucked your career before it even started,'" Richards explains. "He flat out said that if he saw me at one of his shows again I'd be 'fucked.' He said if we 'sling' his name around, we'll be 'blackballed and probably erased.' He must've said 'fuck' 30 times in a 30-second message. It's really funny."
The Limp saga further served to underscore the band's convictions with regards to ends and means, about what they wanted to be and definitely didn't want to become.
"The bands that we truly respect, like Deftones and Korn, it's not just for their music, but for the way that they approach things," notes Stephen. "Even if they're on MTV and sell a lot of records, they do it in a way that's more respectable. They're doing the music that expresses what they are. It's something different and it's passionate and it's what it is because that's what it is, not because of the exposure they're getting."
Meanwhile, TapRoot continued to grow, in terms of audience as well as their music. The group's explosive sound began veering from its rap-metal roots towards a more accessible and expressive sonic approach.
"We had a whole bunch of songs that went from a hundred per cent rap with drum machine into live music on the choruses and heavy parts," Stephen explains. "Once we saw how many bands were kind of taking that idea, but were doing it poorly, I think that's when we realized that rapcore was probably going to be just kind of a fad.
"The stuff that always hits me in our songs are the real cool melodies. That's what draws you in. We started writing songs based around that vibe the whole way through something flowing and passionate. Plus, the lyrics I was writing were better suited to singing and not a rap thing. I rap so fast no one can understand the words, so I kind of toned it down and made the words easier to catch on to."
TapRoot's dense and aggressive music goes head-to-head with Richards' evocative, introspective lyricism. Often intense and angry, other times poignant and provocative, songs such as "Emotional Times" evince a modern spirituality that's fuelled by a disdain for the Old Gods and the desire to find something New, something he can call his own. "I miss those oldschool meditations when relaxing and getting visions was a given," Richards sings on "Comeback." "I propose a toast to my self to find the time to ask my lord and galaxy to comeback to me."
"I've had people tell me that listening to my lyrics understanding where I'm coming from spiritually and gleaning a bit of my overall outlook on life kind of helps them to cope," he says. "It makes them feel good about themselves again, like they're not alone. We love that."
HURT: Indeed, this young band and its ambitious debut album certainly live up to the name. “Why is the band called Hurt?” asks front man J. Loren with characteristic intensity. “Have you heard the CD? Does it seem applicable?” “I felt that was definitely the word,” he continues. “It had to be called that.” The LP veers between whispering and roaring, melody and brutality, crushing power chords and gentle acoustic moments. The convergence of those extremes—delivered in irregular time signature with orchestration, no less—define the “Hurt” sound. Yet just when it seems that it’s all thunder and lightning, eight songs into the album the lighthearted “Danse Russe” comes soaring in like a break in the clouds, its cheerful melody and gentle acoustic guitars displaying a drastically different side of the band. Traces of Tool, Nirvana, and mid-period Metallica flicker throughout the album, but Hurt have created a remarkably individual sound for a debut. It is mainstream enough to fit in on rock radio, yet unusual and edgy enough to appeal to the fringes—and those extremes are echoed in the band’s two core members. The songs, singing and guitar playing emanate from one J. Loren—the 24-year-old product of a strict home in rural Virginia, reared on a steady diet of religion, gospel and classical music and home schooling. He studied classical violin, can play virtually any stringed instrument and, as he puts it, “played many a hoedown,” but rock was forbidden. He never even heard rock music properly until, one day in his teens, “I just happened to be at a friend’s house and I heard Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy’ on TV. It stopped me in my tracks. Classical was really the only music I had gotten into like that.” He cites Vivaldi as his strongest influence. The yin to J.’s yang is drummer Evan Johns, also 24, who was raised in Hollywood in just about the most rock environment possible: His dad is Andy Johns (who engineered or produced Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Joni Mitchell, Rod Stewart, Free, Television, Cinderella, Van Halen and countless others), his uncle is Glyn Johns (ditto the Who, Stones, Kinks, Eagles, Clapton, Faces—do we need to go on?) and his cousin is Ethan Johns (ditto Emmylou Harris, Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon and Rufus Wainwright). While that background evokes visions of young Evan doing homework in the middle of scenes from “Almost Famous,” the reality was about half that. “A lot of my elementary years were spent hanging out with Cinderella or Van Halen—we’d have them over for dinner or the holidays,” he recalls. “And I was always hanging around the studio. The drums looked like the coolest thing, and I bugged my dad like crazy and finally, when I was about five, he bought me and my brother kid-size drums kits.” Not that his early efforts were encouraged. “When I first started out, my dad told me I was no good and I should just give up. But after awhile he was like, ‘Hey, you’re not so bad, keep it up.’ It just made me try harder—every day after school for four hours.” He started gigging before he was even in his teens. “I’d be in bands with 30- and 40-year-olds, waiting outside until it was time to play because I was underage. Then I’d go home with mom because it was a school night.” He focused on jazz drumming during high school to expand his vocabulary, but plunged back into rock after graduation, playing in a series of “mostly heavy” bands until one day … “This friend of my dad’s had a CD of some of J.’s songs. He was like, ‘Andy, this is great just don’t pay attention to the drums, just listen to the singer.’ And my dad said, ‘If you need a drummer you should check out my son.’ ” J., all the while, had been gigging with a succession of different musicians, always under the name Hurt and was growing frustrated. “I’d almost given up on playing music,” he recalls. “I was working for technology companies as a contract consultant, I was engaged and I was very, very sorrowful about abandoning music. Then, I decided to give it one more go…” A few months later in L.A., Evan’s dad’s friend heeded his advice and arranged for J. Loren to be on a plane to L.A. to meet and try some recording together. “I went into the studio with J. and right away, I was like, I’ve gotta get in on this,” Evan remembers. “We started on a trial basis in August 2004, like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna record these demos and see what happens’—and I loved it.” Of course, it wasn’t really that simple. “The first time I met J. it was really weird because we had only talked on the phone, and we were trying to feel each other out from thousands of miles away. And when he came out here, my first impression was, who is this guy? I can’t understand him; he’s so weird and obscure. But when we started playing together, it was like, ‘Okay, cool—I know what to do here, I feel comfortable.’ And then he turned out to have a heart of gold.” J. and Evan worked up an abundance of material for a few months before plunging into the studio to begin work on two albums the first of which is “Vol. I”. They were assisted initially by ex-Beck bassist, Justin Meldal Johnson. (Two New Jersey-born musicians, guitarist Paul Spatola and bassist Josh Ansley have since joined them.) Getting J. to discuss the emotions and inspiration behind the songs is no easy feat. One passage from “Rapture” reads, “She swore she heard the voice of Jesus / Telling her ‘It was wrong to keep it’ / And one more thing, it looked like me”; one from “Falls Apart” goes “Our skin tears away as our memories fade with age / And we don’t even know till it’s gone … Woe is me.” “I try to convey principles rather than trying to preach my own story, so that people can apply them to their own lives,” he says. He allows that “Rapture” is about the “danger in setting yourself up as god,” that “Danse Russe” was inspired by poet William Carlos Williams and “a two-day experience with a lovely person,” and that “Losing” was written “after I saw Evan’s ability on the drums. I was like [chuckles sinisterly], ‘Hey buddy, I got somethin’ for you!’ ” And as for the intensity that runs through every thing his band does, J.Loren simply says, “If I’m not going to affect someone in some way, why do anything at all?” KNOWLEDGE