Lucas D’Agata – Vocals
Anthony D’Agata – Drums
Derek Troxell – Guitar
Joseph Kuban – Bass Read more
Hey Boston, if you’re looking for a local show to check out this week, metal band Scourge will be smacking fans in the face with their CD Release Show for their latest effort ‘Clarity‘ at T.T. The Bears on Thursday, June 20th. Check them out!
Described as “bringing you a brutal mix of complex melodies, contrasting harmonies, old school thrash riffs, boot-to-the-throat vocals, and pounding drum rhythms that brings a full, well-rounded sound” this power trio delivers on all claims.
If you need some convincing, you can listen to ‘I Will Burn, and ‘Senseless‘ below – two of the tracks from “Clarity“.
Also on the bill for a night of full frontal face-melting metal: Seren, Tester & Forever’s Fallen Grace
Buy your tickets to the show now and receive a free stream of “Clarity” More details here.
Boston folk metallers Wilderun recently played at Cook’s Cafe in Naugatuck along with Aether Realm as part of the “WildeRealm” regional tour, and the band was kind enough to sit down and have a talk with us about their history, American folk metal, writing pieces for an orchestra, and what the future may hold.
Interviewd by: Brian Cross
How did Wilderun get started?
(everyone points at Evan Berry, vocalist and guitarist)
EVAN – (laughs) Wilderun was my personal solo project for a few years; I was just writing tunes. I didn’t really have any direction for it. I started writing songs in 2008 and early 2009, and just wrote random stuff, probably for about two years on my own. In November 2011, I met up with Wayne (Ingram, lead guitars) as I’d been talking to him about working on the music. And Jon (Teachey, drums), as I needed a drummer.
WAYNE – I contacted you during my first semester at school because you put up a post saying “I’m starting a folk metal band!” I pulled off a tab and called you, and you said “Actually, I’ve already got everybody I need.” All right, cool, whatever. And then three years later, you said “Hey Wayne, remember how you were the only one who contacted me about the band? Why don’t we do that?” (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Exactly! It all came full circle after about three years. Wayne became the lead guitarist and orchestrator, because he’s a film scoring major. So I figured Wilderun needed some elaborate orchestration as opposed to the crappy keyboards I was using. We teamed up, and Jon was the drummer on deck for a while before it even got started! I knew he’d be the drummer, as he also played in one of my other bands. As soon as me and Wayne really started orchestrating and getting serious about it, we decided to make a full band out of it, and Jon suggesting getting Dan (Müller, bass). In about early 2012, we had all four members and a complete lineup. We originally got together just to make a demo, but then as we were in the middle of working, it just made more sense to go all out and do a full-length as I had enough material to do it. We decided while rehearsing for the album that we wanted to do a show, so we played the Paganfest show with Turisas and Alestorm. At that point, we only played the songs live that we actually knew, and after the Paganfest show was over, then we worked on the rest of the album. In May 2012 we recorded the album (Olden Tales and Deathly Trails) at More Sound Studio in Syracuse.
Where did the band name come from?
EVAN – It came from a fantasy book, The Elfstones of Shannara. “Wilderun” was just the area of the land that was kind of like the Wild West of the fantasy world.
WAYNE – The secret’s out!
JON – Now everyone’s going to know! (laughs)
EVAN – I just thought “Wilderun” was a cool word, and since it was like the Wild West, it kind of fits with American folk metal.
Wilderun stands apart from most of its folk metal brethren by focusing on American folk tales rather than the more common European ones. How did this come about, and did you incorporate any folk tales from New England?
EVAN – Basically, with Wilderun the music came first. I had been writing a lot of songs, and over the course of orchestrating and writing lyrics we tried to find a more unique identity for the band. I thought it would be more interesting to pull some influence from folk tales and songs from our side of the ocean. The Scandinavian thing’s been overdone, and we’re not from there, so why would we do it? (laughs) The only song that’s directly related to something out of New England is “Storm Along,” an old tall tale about a giant sea captain.
Take us through a typical songwriting session.
WAYNE – Evan’s in school and writes all the stuff, then he contacts us. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Songwriting is just me sitting in my room drinking coffee. That’s it.
JON – Lots and lots of coffee. The man has a problem. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Just sitting there and wasting away with my guitar and keyboard, and being late for stuff. That’s pretty much it…but the orchestral sessions are a completely different story, which Wayne can tell you about.
WAYNE – Evan had written all of the music already, as far as the riffs and most of the lyrics and melodies. He had been writing the songs for a long time before he had met me, so it was more or less fleshing out those ideas. I had been studying orchestration and that’s what I love to do in addition to playing guitar. Evan would come over and I learned all the songs; using the melodies and what orchestral knowledge I had, I picked instruments to fill the melodies and harmonies, creating arrangements to evoke certain moods for whatever the song needed at the time. It took us about four to five months to orchestrate the whole album.
What challenges did you face while recording the album?
DAN – Time! (everyone laughs)
JON – Yeah, not enough rehearsal time.
DAN – Luckily, we were able to rehearse during school.
JON – It still wasn’t enough! (laughs)
DAN – There was still a bit of learning going on inside the studio. We had a little under two weeks to record the entire album, including folk instruments, vocal harmonies, and all that. It took time to get the foundation; the rock instruments like the guitar, bass, and drums. Then it was a matter of figuring out where the folk instruments would go, where the gang vocals would go, all of the harmonies. Trying to cram that all into two weeks was probably the most difficult thing about it.
WAYNE – There were also a lot of elements we recorded in the studio that weren’t necessarily rehearsed beforehand. We had practiced as a band getting the metal part tight, but when it came time to do the mandolin? There are only four of us; it’s like not we had a dedicated mandolin guy. We had to figure it all out in the studio, and make sure we played it well. But it was fun! It was a good time.
JON – Yes!
DAN – Absolutely! (everyone laughs)
WAYNE – Unanimous decision.
EVAN – We’ll have a dobro on there, and maybe a banjo. I think that’s about it. Well, maybe some spoons.
JON – Dude! I will be all over that! (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Typically, we’d like to get a slightly more concrete, solidified folk instrument sound on the next album. I think the first album worked out really well, but we want to be a little more focused. It was kind of on-the-spot experimentation for the first album, which worked.
JON – Grabbing random instruments from Dan’s house?
EVAN – Yeah! (laughs)
WAYNE – When I was orchestrating and arranging the thing, I said it would be really rad if we could get an autoharp. And Dan’s like, (lower voice) “Uh, I have my Grandpa’s.” Dan had all of this cool stuff, but he never said anything until it came up! (laughs) “I’ve got a hundred-year-old dulcimer, I guess we could bring that.” (everyone laughs) That’s my Dan impression. It sounds nothing like him.
There’s some diverse musical influences present on Olden Tales and Deathly Trails, but what really inspired you to play folk metal in the first place?
JON – Good question.
EVAN – That’s a tough question.
DAN – Babes! (laughs)
WAYNE – Sex, drugs, and rock and roll, man!
JON – We’re obviously in the right musical genre to get the babes.
EVAN – Yeah, we’re in it for the money. (everyone laughs) That’s why were started playing folk metal! The money and the fame! That’s pretty much all I can say. (keeps laughing)
JON – Really, it’s for the music’s sake. For the love of that music, and that’s what we are. It sounds like such a clichéd answer!
EVAN – Honestly, I’d really have to think about that question. It’s hard to explain!
DAN – It’s a great escape. The whole folk metal vibe, with fantasy and tall tales, it’s a way to step out of your own head and enjoy the moment.
EVAN – Especially working with some of the old folk tunes and stuff. Learning those songs and reading about their history and where they came from, and then creating our own lyrics around them. It was interesting to learn about old stories and tales and reinterpret them ourselves. That’s not necessarily musical, that’s just kind of old tales and history, which is fascinating.
Wayne, you mentioned you’re studying film scoring. What composers inspired your work on the orchestral parts?
WAYNE – Alan Silvestri, number one. He’s my favorite. The orchestral side of the album is really cool; obviously metal is just awesome, but when you add the whole other element of what an orchestra can do? Think about it: when you write something orchestral, it can take anywhere from a small quartet to a hundred people to play what you wrote. There’s a bunch of things that inspire me when writing orchestral music; there’s an incredible amount of teamwork towards a collective goal. The orchestral stuff I came up with for the album, especially on “Suncatcher” and “Storm Along,” if they were to be played by a real orchestra, it would be upwards of a sixty- or seventy-piece orchestra. To think that it would take that many people to do it? To be a part of something that’s so much bigger than yourself really entices me. It’s a big step outside of what you’re capable of, and relying on other people to pull together their talents and resources to make it happen. That’s really inspiring. You don’t become “the guy that made the thing,” you’re part of this whole group of people that made the thing.
What do you see as the most important aspect of your music?
WAYNE – Babes. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Man, this is another tough question. It makes me think…
WAYNE – The next question is how many babes. (everyone laughs)
JON – I would say…making the most mediocre drum parts possible. (everyone laughs)
EVAN – Okay, I’ll try to give a real answer to this. I think the most important thing with this band is that we wanted to play epic, symphonic music from the get-go, but our main goal is to try to take that style of music and progress it in different ways than haven’t been done before. Especially with the new songs that haven’t been released yet. We’re just trying to take as much of a progressive approach to folk metal and symphonic metal as we can. That sounds a little pretentious, but it’s just basically about experimenting with different styles and genres and melding it into one cohesive unit. That’s the most fun, and I think that’s the most interesting music: the stuff that tries to add new things to a sound. That’s what we’re trying to do.
WAYNE – Also, something that I feel is exciting about the album is that it’s not relying on themes from Scandinavian cultures. It’s relying on themes from American culture. I think it’s progressive to have this style of music talk about things from other places; there’s a whole western hemisphere that can do this, too, and has interesting tales.
EVAN – We definitely can’t deny our influence from all of the previous folk metal bands and black metal bands that existed, because we love all of that music. But we knew that we wanted to try our best to take a new approach to it. Not to deny our influences, but to try to put a new spin on it whenever we can. That’s the most interesting thing for us.
Beyond the current tour, what does the immediate future have in store for Wilderun?
EVAN – We want to keep playing shows, and we have more material for another record, but I don’t know exactly when that’s going to be out. Definitely within a few years, hopefully sooner rather than later. Whenever we can put it together, there’s going to be more music, and we’ll keep playing when we can.
JON – More tours!
WAYNE – And hopefully a West Coast tour sometime!
With the release of their debut album Borders & Fences, the members of Atlanta-based Namesake are ready to make their mark on the pop-punk scene. Lead vocalist Will Crafton, guitarists Brad Wagner and Troy Harmon, drummer Kevin Nordeste, and bassist Seth Van Dusen combine their considerable talents to create a sound that fans of New Found Glory, All Time Low, and The Maine will love.
Recently, Will took some time out from Namesake’s current tour with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus to answer some questions for TWRY.
Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin
This is one band that can’t simply be pigeonholed into one genre. If I was forced to compare them to existing acts to make it easier for someone else to understand, I’d have to say they’re Joan Jett meets the Cranberries. They have a hard time categorizing themselves! Let’s let them tell you…. Read more
I recently sat down with experimental Boston musician Daniel Harris to ask him about two of his exciting new projects, a 3-song EP (with a release date of early December, 2011), and a full-length album with his project 3dCosby (set to release in February 2012). After laboring over his music for months (and in the case of his full-length, years), we rapped about his nuanced process of creation, discussed why a DIY artist’s work is never done, and jawed off about the political (and apolitical) message of it all.
Interviewed by: Dorise Gruber
Tony Carboney – keys/guitar/vox
Individually, the guys in this band are pretty much all over the musical spectrum – other projects are nothing like this band. You’ll find that ::FeeL:: is generally not like any other band you’ve ever met, but, don’t take my word for it – let them tell you.
Brian, Charles, Ian, and Jeff sat down with me recently for possibly the most eclectic interview I’ve ever done – traffic sounds be damned!
Interviewed by: Jessica Messina
Newcomers to the scene The Famous Winters, comprised of Sean Kennedy, Alex Garzone, and recently joined by Matt DeCosta, are a Providence-based minimalist trio with a dynamic sound. Steady and eerie, Kennedy’s strained vocals and icy lyrics make their EP, Carnival Sky, a short but incredibly strong debut. Kennedy and Garzone may not be partnered long, but their chemistry reads so powerfully in their music that when I saddled up to chat with them, I wasn’t surprised to find them echoing each others ideas, and sometimes even finishing each others’ sentences.
Interviewed by: Dorise Gruber
Singer Emily Armstrong and guitarist Siouxsie Medley, the anchors of the band Dead Sara, have been making music together since they were teenagers. When they decided to branch out a little more they solidified their band line up with Chris Null on bass and Sean Friday on drums.
With their debut album due out this summer the band traverses with ease from genre to genre producing melodic gems that flow right into in fierce, tear your head off, metal induced rockers all with a gritty, primal edge that leaves your ears wondering what could possibly come next.
We recently caught up with Armstrong and Medley to talk about the band, their upcoming album and the magical chemistry they’ve seemed to harness.
Interviewed by: Mary Ouellette
Although not exactly a household name just yet in North America, Mindflow has been tearin’ it up in their home country of Brazil for over six years now. Their progressive hard rock sound is starting to make some waves and the band is currently out on tour with UFO here in The States.
TWRY had the opportunity to catch up with founding members guitarist Rodrigo Hidalgo and drummer Rafael Pensado prior to their show in Foxboro MA at showcase Live and find out a little bit about who they are. Check it out!
By: Roger Scales
You’re currently out on the road supporting UFO here in the US. Have you toured here in North America previously and what have the crowds been like thus far?
This is actually our 4th time here, although most of the dates have been on the West coast and Southern part of the US. So far on this leg it’s been awesome. Every show the crowds seem to get bigger and that’s a good sign. We did play the Prog Power Festival in Atlanta in 2009 and I think that was our biggest show here in America up to this point. We love the American crowds and they seem to be really into the music. You guys are all rockers at heart and we are very happy to be here once again.
With Bare Hands is your 4th studio album and the first with Nightmare Records. Was the recording experience/location any different than you’re your previous releases?
Yes it was. It was a very different experience than in the past because the initial recording started out within a project called “365” where we worked on 1 song a month for an entire year. So we kind of worked on the song, recorded it and released it one at a time. We did move around a bit working at several different studios during this process. We once again got to work with Ben Grosse (Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, and Sevendust) producing some of the tracks on this new record so we were real happy having his contributions and experience at our disposal. We were very pleased with how the final mix came out and we hope the fans do as well.
After watching and enjoying the video for the first single “Break Me Out” I’m curious where that was shot and do you have any interesting stories coming from it?
Everybody always asks about the girl!! No none of us are dating her! Basically that location is a major trucking spot in Sao Paulo Brazil where sand is gathered for distribution to various construction sites throughout the area. We had a lot of fun working on that track I think the director got the most out of us that day and the performance shots are really a good representation of who we are as a live act.
I also watched the video for the new single “Thrust Into The Game” which was a lot different from a stylistic approach than the first video from this album. What is the game referenced in that song?
That “game” is a reference to Brazilian politics and what seems to be going on in local government right now. There was lot of corruption that was going on at that time. It was in the news daily and we just couldn’t help but be affected by it and it came out in this song. It’s all about taking the people and the government and throwing them all in one pot and trying to create a stabilized environment. It’s still a work in progress.
Speaking of games..tell me a little bit about the Alternative Reality Game ‘Follow Your Instinct”. Who came up with the concept, how many people have been playing this game and at what stage is it at currently?
The band came up with the general idea for the game and the concept of the game in 2005 that situates the players as detectives in pursuit of a dangerous serial killer. We thought it would be fun and it started out with about 3,000 players in the first edition of the game that lasted a little more than 1 year. It combines fictional situations with reality, making use of media channels from the real world. The game takes place in websites, e-mails, phone calls, and some other media sources. It’s now up and over 10,000 players at this point. It has a special connection with our younger fans because it’s similar to a video game. We put clues in each of the albums so it combines our records in the game as well.
It’s a little tough to categorize Mindflow into just one musical direction. Hard rock rhythm section with a melodic flow and power vocals is the best description I could come up with. Certainly you appeal to different fans and age groups for different reasons. Did you ever have a goal in mind as a band to overtly attempt to have mass appeal or did it just happen naturally as the band evolved over time?
I think it’s just a natural progress over time. As a band we never tried to limit ourselves or categorize the act into one particular style or direction..just let it flow. That’s how we came up with the name of the band. With the new record With Bare Hands we did try to be more aggressive and heavier for sure so it should resonate with the metal fans all over. We really wanted to share the energy with the crowd when we recorded this new record and couldn’t wait to start playing these songs live and feel that vibe up close and personal by getting back on the road.
In your native Brazil you have played some major stadium type shows and also supported some major acts throughout Europe as well. What has observing these rock veterans in these environments taught you about life on the road, interacting with fans and building the Mindflow legacy?
Great question because we all believe the best experience you can get “cutting your teeth” and creating a band for the long haul is just tour, tour, tour. We need to bond and work as family and friends and you can only gain that connection by going out on the road. Seeing some of these guys that have been doing this for 20 or 25 years just gives us the motivation to someday be that vetern act headlining on a bill with 4 or 5 other bands. Most of these bands we have toured with have been super supportive and we have appreciated the guidance and advice.
There was a recent photo of the band from this tour with Mike Portnoy..now drummer free agent! What was that meeting like and did you think Dream Theater will be the same band without him?
He has been one of the biggest inspiration to us and one of the most important metal progressive performers of his generation. To have him in the audience at our gig watching as a fan was a huge thrill for all of us. We got to talk to him for a bit after our set and Rafael got to ask a few drumming questions which defiantly made his day! He was so cool. We gave him one of our tour shirts and he wore it!! He is a real music fan who just happens to be the best rock drummer in the business. Having Mike Mangini replacing Portnoy in the band they will lose very little from a skill perspective and his style and technique are so similar I can see why he got the gig. But Portnoy was so much more than just the drummer. From a business standpoint it will be different. His spirit is what flowed through the band and it will be interesting to see not only the quality of the new music but how the fans react no matter how good it is because Portnoy is not there. On the other hand maybe the other band members will step out of the shadows and showcase another side from them we have never seen; either way no matter what happens Mike Portnoy will be back in Dream Theater at some point in the future playing like he always did and has with reckless abandonment.
What does the future hold for Mindflow in terms of touring for the remainder of this year, another studio album or maybe a live cd/dvd?
We have actually been filming quite a bit of material since we started in the hopes of putting together a bulk of material for a live DVD package. We have some more touring planned for the summer in Brazil and then possibly back in the studio to start work on a new record by year’s end. Writing, touring, writing touring. We feel the whole spirit of the 1970’s is starting to come back with bands constantly working and trying to release an album a year to keep their momentum going and fan base growing. We strive for that as a band. We have a lot of energy burning inside each of us and want to get it out live on stage and then back to the studio to create new reasons to keep come seeing you guys here in the US! We love it here and want to thank all of the fans on this tour for coming out early to check us out before seeing UFO.