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Red - photo by Caleb Kuhl

Red

by Chris Fox
February 2009

The self defined, modern rock band that favors the heavy stuff, RED, heads out on tour in support of their second major label record, “Innocence & Instinct.” This quintet has made their presence known by harnessing the heavy elements of their rock and metal roots while allowing organic elements to make appearances in their music. The use of keyboards and various orchestral instruments are commonly heard throughout their music. It is in the guitar progressions that the true elements of heaviness come out and their influences, ranging from Mozart to the Deftones, start to really surface. As Jasen Rauch (guitar) explains, the new album is congruent with their previous material, but the sound is maturing.


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Maria Brink in a sexy photo shoot

In This Moment

by Chris Fox
February 2009

Still rolling on the release of their newest album, The Dream, IN THIS MOMENT will be back in Wisconsin at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay, and the Orpheum, with MUDVAYNE on February 9th and 18th respectively. Whether you are a veteran fan or a first time listener this quintet is bound to grab your attention both live and with their amazing studio talents.

Digressing from their first album, Beautiful Tragedy, the new record takes a lighter approach to heavy music. Showing true diversity and gusto, the new album is “more song oriented rather than focusing so heavily on riffs,” explains Maria Brink (vocals). Their influences span from, the riff masters, Pantera to Johnny Cash creating a very diverse sound in their music. Brink attributes the more melodic take on the new album to seeing Ozzy play when they were on the Ozzfest Tour. “Watching a massive crowd sing all his songs back to him really inspired us to twist our songs in a different direction,” explains Brink. Her highly recognizable screams are still present, but there is a whole new layering with melody and harsh sounds. Brink continues, “I was really angry on the first album, and I write about my passions and experiences,” and there is a whole new understanding with The Dream.

Brink explains that singing is, actually, much more challenging for her than the screaming. She digresses about Cash not being the greatest singer, but “you can feel what he is singing.” Music becomes about an escape from the reality that all of us are stuck in, and Brink feels the album keeps the heavy sound while being lighter because it still conveys “that specific attitude of not falling into what everybody else does… independence and power.” As a female lead, a somewhat unique position in hard rock and heavy metal, Brink feels that people often blow such an aspect out of proportion. “People sometimes don’t take our music as seriously, but that all disappears when the music starts,” explains Brink.

IN THIS MOMENT constantly challenges themselves to play better live. Being onstage is “where I feel most free and alive, everything stays away,” and Brink certainly displays this passion on stage with more enthusiasm that many of her peers. The most inspiring part is Brink’s battle with anxiety. She explains that she has only suffered on stage twice, and in reality the stage is what allows her to transgress above such complications. In fact, she continues, “fear is the greatest adversity I’ve had to overcome,” not from anxieties, but rather the fear and doubt while chasing a dream. She expressed her gratitude, the greatest thing as a musician is, “inspiring fans and being able to do what I love everyday.”

Whether it’s the older pit favorite, “Daddy’s Fallen Angel,” or the new crowd mover, “Mechanical Love,” these musicians deliver. Through her mother’s influence, Brink easily found metal and she uses those influences to develop an ever-changing genre of music with her bandmates. Heavy melodies and screeching overtones, as well as incredibly high energy and a true passion for music are what make them a band to watch. After their dates over the next couple months, IN THIS MOMENT plans to head for Europe as well as being scheduled to play the Warped Tour. Brink explains with the utmost excitement, “this is what I feel like I’m here to do… it makes me feel alive.”


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36 Crazyfists from Kenai, Alaska - photo by Brian Lee

36 Crazyfists

by Chris Fox
December 2008

The Alaskan-based heavy metal thrashers, 36 CRAZYFISTS, have taken a unique approach to their music and their performance. As Brock Lindow (vocals) explains, they have a very raw attitude, and admittedly are often too close to their music to fully understand what they are creating. Avoiding the negativity and anger that often surrounds the musical term “metal” and, rather, creating a positive ideal with a heavy sound. Their surprising rise to the heavy metal circuit is not that shocking, explains Lindow, “metal is the number one resource up there, nobody looks to Alaska as a musical hotbed, but that is what makes it the best place.” Lindow credits a lot of their inspirational drive to the small but thriving music scene in our nation’s largest state. Lindow compared the passion and energy of Alaskans to metal fans in Texas, and says, “Texas has got nothing on Alaska, the people are what make the music and the scene.”


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In This Moment

In This Moment

by Chris Fox
November 2008

After the recent release of their new album, “The Dream” on September 30, IN THIS MOMENT find themselves on tour. Somewhat familiar with Wisconsin, after hitting the stage hard for Band Camp ’07, they have returned, opening for Five Finger Death Punch.

The band has gone through a lot of sound adjustments in their four years together and have developed what Chris Howorth (guitarist) defines as “melodic rock and roll with a little bit of heavy metal.”  The new album concentrates more on song development rather than the almighty riff.  Maria Brink’s (vocalist) screams are less apparent than their previous release, but the band still manages to stay heavy with melody.  Howorth and Jesse Landry (bassist) account their changing sound to the diverse musical choices of the group. Howorth is the appointed “metal guy,” but they account everything from Kiss and Pantera to Ratt and Def Leppard as influences.

Each band member seems to have their own preferences as to which of their songs was the favorite, but their live favorite was a resounding, “Daddy’s Fallen Angel.” Landry explained that it was one of their heaviest songs in the set list and really seemed to click with the more rambunctious crowds. The live show seemed to be their favorite part of the whole lifestyle, and even though budgets are tight these guys plan to continue doing what they love.


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Chicago's Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio

by Chris Fox
November 2008

Riding the release of their latest album, “Agony & Irony,” ALKALINE TRIO has hit the road. The band started in late ‘96 with an upbeat, melodic sound with dark, realistic lyrics that slowly but strongly developed a dedicated following. Though big on the punk scene, the band strives to cross barriers and bring in fans from all walks of life.

Derek Grant (drums) said the new album is “getting back to the basics” as they put more concentration on content rather than layering and perfecting instrumentations. Through several previous albums, the writing fashion had become monotonous, so they took a stripped down, more natural approach to the production of “Agony & Irony.” The essence of their songs has remained the same and as the fan base continues to grow, the songs remain relatable and tend to touch a nerve that most bands avoid. Grant says, “we’ve never taken the easy route in any shape or form, we aren’t a band that is born out of convenience,” and this, he explains, is why their following remains strong.


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Saving Abel is an American rock band formed by Jared Weeks and Jason Null in 2004

Saving Abel

by Chris Fox
November 2008

On tour with their debut self-titled release from Virgin Records, SAVING ABEL is looking to give crowds a “straight up rock show,” according to bass player Eric Taylor.  The band has been playing since 2004 and are currently touring with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, BUCKCHERRY, and SHINEDOWN. Southern grown rock, with a whole mess of other influences from the ALLMAN BROTHERS to LYNYRD SKYNYRD to 3 DOORS DOWN, Taylor says the band is ready to show the world what they are made of.


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