Bless The Fall
In the two-year span since blessthefall's album His Last Walk was released, the band has undergone some internal repairs that could have sunk any other band on the rise. Not so for the Phoenix five-piece, who've learned that a kink in the gears isn't enough to stop a band this strong for good. Formed in 2004 by a group of higher-thinking high-schoolers who wanted their peers to find meaning and camaraderie in their music, blessthefall was intent on making their post-hardcore/screamo blend a different breed that people would remember. After several gigs in the area, more than just the locals began to notice. Later, after a 3-song EP made the rounds at shows and landed in label hands, this buzzy and burgeoning band were signed to Warner subsidiary Science Records and making their first full-length.
"Everyone has their first shows that consist of just the bands, and your parents, if you're lucky," reflects guitarist Eric Lambert. "Things picked up rather quickly, though. We started selling out hometown shows, then started touring, and, oddly enough, we had fans outside of Arizona. It was small shows, but the fans we met are still coming to every show and are the best people ever."
Armed with a defiant upcoming record and a new frontman, blessthefall have returned to the scene a stronger entity than ever before. Witness, the band's sophomore album and first with singer Beau Bokan, formerly of Take the Crown, will be released from new label Fearless Records, who signed the band in May. Bokan says this album reflects the positive energy that now enfolds the band. "We wrote this album to show people we aren't the kind of band to lay down and give up," notes Bokan. "We're here and won't be going anywhere for a long, long time."
Those fans will undoubtedly be out in droves to obtain Witness, a forward-thinking record that boasts bigger choruses, heavier guitars and, essentially, Bokan adds, "His Last Walk on steroids. It has all the same elements that got us where we are today." Recorded earlier this summer with Elvis Baskette (Incubus, Escape The Fate, Story Of The Year) in Virginia, blessthefall took their collective struggles to the forefront to produce a highly personal and evolved album - and bombastic live show - that shows the band back is with vengeance.
"With all the bands in the scene it's hard to stand out," says Bokan. "Anyone can go into a studio and make an over produced album that sounds amazing, but if they can't pull it off live it means nothing. We pride ourselves on our live show, and we want people to walk away from our live show and be blown away. We leave our hearts on the stage every night. The greatest compliment to ever get is when someone says we sound better live than on CD."
For these Taste of Chaos veterans and current road warriors, they're anxious to take their performance chops to the road for Witness. While trying to win over new fans while appeasing the old may be a difficult task for some bands, blessthefall accept it eagerly as a challenge that they'll work toward with this record and its following tours. "There is a lot more drive now that Beau is in the band," Lambert said. "We know we have a lot to prove and we are all hungry for it."
Witness is released by Fearless Records on October 6th, 2009.
A Skylit Drive
It takes great vision for a band to refuse to rest on their previous successes and instead focus on what they need to become. That’s exactly what Lodi, California’s A Skylit Drive achieved with the sextet’s third full-length album, Identity On Fire.
Marrying the defining, intrinsic elements of A Skylit Drive’s signature sound with a bold new palette of tones, textures and song structures, the apt
ly named Identity On Fire serves up a double meaning, not only standing apart from the band’s prior works but also defining the band from this point forward.
“This record has everything to do with setting fire to the things that you don't want and don't need, and are only slowing you down,” notes Michael “Jag” Jagmin. “It’s about creating your own identity, and being who you want to be. We feel like that's what we've done with this album.”
A Skylit Drive — comprised of vocalist Jagmin, guitarist Nick Miller, bassist/screamer Brian White, drummer Cory La Quay and keyboardist Kyle Simmons — officially burst onto the scene in 2007 with the She Watched The Sky EP, followed by 2008’s Wires And The Concept Of Breathing. The band then joined the Fearless Records family, with their label debut coming in the form of 2009’s Adelphia, which peaked at #64 on the Billboard 200.
With the sophomore pressure behind them, ASD re-entered the studio in the fall of 2010, after a summer of 10-hour days spent writing new material in a blistering warehouse, to record Identity On Fire. All the sweat clearly paid off: Identity captures the group truly coming into their own, at a pivotal stage in their career. The album debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 at #89 and #16 on the Alternative Albums chart.
It’s tough to dispute the fruits of that partnership: Identity On Fire has all the makings of a breakout release from a band just hitting their stride. From its richly layered guitars and keys to its bombastic beats and scorching vocals, the album is a take-no-prisoners shot across the bow of contemporary post-hardcore, instantly raising the bar. “We wanted to have more energy, keep the tempo up and have a lot of crowd participation,” adds guitarist Nick Miller. “We wanted the contrast—a good balance of heavy and poppy—and I think on this album we've definitely found a good balance.”
The combination of inspired lyrics and powerful new music translates into a milestone release for A Skylit Drive; fresh cuts like single “Too Little, Too Late”, “XO Skeleton” and “Ex Marks The Spot” promise to grab listeners by the eardrums and not let go. Jagmin and Miller say they’re particularly proud of “Ex,” which has become a band favorite. With a straight-up melodic hardcore vibe, fist-pumping gang vocals and surprisingly well-honed hooks, it is just one of Identity’s many dazzlers.
Now that Identity On Fire has dropped, A Skylit Drive will be taking what’s arguably their best record yet to an audience that grows larger by the day. They supplemented the album’s release with a supporting spot on tour with Thursday and Underoath, gaining fans and respect with every show. Followed by the band’s second shot at Warped Tour, tackling the 2011 tour in its entirety.
A Skylit Drive’s third album Identity On Fire is out now.
At The Skylines
Skip the Foreplay
Epitaph Records is thrilled to announce the signing of Skip The Foreplay. Known for their distinct musical style, which mashes up elements of dubstep and house with pop and metal-core, the ground-breaking Montreal - based band has been electrifying audiences with their intoxicating blend of hardcore heaviness and dance floor energy since 2010. Skip The Foreplay will be releasing their anticipated full length Epitaph debut this spring."Aside from having one of the greatest names in history, Skip The Foreplay are simply Satan's delivery system for music of mass destruction," offers Epitaph founder and President Brett Gurewitz.Skip The Foreplay made a serious impression on audiences while appearing with the likes of Hollywood Undead, Lamb Of God, NOFX, Alesana and more. The band will be joining up with rock n' roll heavy hitter Ronnie Radke and Falling In Reverse for a tour this January and February before spending the summer on the road.Skip The Foreplay singer Marc-Andre Fillion proclaims, "We're extremely happy to now be a part of the Epitaph family. Our first record is finally done! We can't wait to share it with you guys and will keep you posted on the release date. We've also just been confirmed on our first US tour with Falling In Reverse in January/February 2012. So come hang out and join the party!"The band recently created an internet sensation with their stunning and delightfully seditious cover of the song "Champagne Showers" by the popular electro pop duo LMFAO. The new version retains all the seductive dance floor hooks of the track, while adding some serious heaviness that includes massive bass drops, breakdowns, and cerebral electronic remixes.