Friday, August 27

Conditions from Van's Warped Tour: free music download

Hot Topic to offer free downloads from alternative rockers Conditions in their September 7th store magazine.

Conditions, the hot, new alternative band out of Richmond Virginia, has announced that their latest single "When it Won't Save You", from the album Fluorescent Youth, set for release on September 14th, will be available for free download from Hot Topic stores on September 7th.

The download will be included in the up-coming AP/Hot Topic Mini Mag and the band has also announced that their exclusive Fluorescent Youth CD/T-Shirt bundle package is now available for pre-order.

Alternative Press Magazine has included Conditions in their Top 100 Bands You Need to Know for 2010 and they've been gaining momentum after a ground-breaking run on this Summer's Van's Warped Tour. They've gotten coveted spots on the Taste of Chaos tour, Bamboozle Festival, and the SXSW Music Conference.

Conditions has toured the U.S. and Europe, as an independent artist with some of the biggest bands in the alternative music industry. They've shared a stage with the likes of Paramore, New Found Glory, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Good Charlotte, but their recent union with Good Fight Music, along with the up-coming release of Fluorescent Youth, promises to make them the hot ticket at concert venues across America this Fall.

Conditions has a rockin' Fall tour schedule lining up. You can check the new Conditions MySpace for band updates and tour dates.

Article first published as Alt-Rock Band Conditions, Announce Free Download From Hot Topic on Technorati.



Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles ToddLook for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

Slash News: New Tour and SlashFM Radio


Today, August 26th, was "Slash Day" at the third annual Sunset Strip Music Festival.

The rock icon was honored during the festival and also that evening at a House of Blues Sunset Strip tribute event featuring speeches from Slash's closest friends and musical associates, a presentation from the City of West Hollywood and live music performances representing the legendary rock guitarist's contributions to the city's rich musical heritage.

As the Festival celebrations wrap up Slash will embark on a new North America Tour and on Thursday, September 2nd, Clear Channel Radio's "iheartradio" network will begin a limited time broadcast of A.P.E. music station, Slash FM, which will feature the music of Guns N' Roses, Slash's solo projects and music from his 'personal' playlist, including bands like Sound Garden and Metallica and the bands who influenced Slash on the road to rock stardom like The Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC.

During its run on the "iheartradio" network Slash FM will also feature segments of Slash himself talking about his life as a rock musician and his personal behind-the-scenes stories.

Slashes A.P.E. station on Clear Channel Radio's digital network will feature the "iheartradio" mobile app, widgets and

Fans are welcome to take part by sending their own suggestions to

Legendary guitarist Slash welcomes fans to the rock jungle with a new tour and his own A.P.E radio station, SlashFM

Article first published as Slash Announces New Tour and Launch Date of Slash FM on Technorati



Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles ToddLook for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

Friday, August 20

Interview: Talking to Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach

"That's what I want to bring to the music we write, something that speaks my truth, because I think that when I sing about my truth... it's not only mine, but so many other people's truths. When I sing about what's going on in my life, in my heart, in my soul, I find that--when I expose myself the most and tear down my walls the most--that's when I connect with people the most."

"We just express ourselves, wholly and truly. That's our strength... showing our weaknesses." ~~Jacoby Shaddix (Lead Vocalist, Papa Roach.)

As Papa Roach gears up for the release of their latest album, Time For Annihilation..On the Record, and On The Road, on August 31st, and the first single from that album, "Kick in the Teeth," blasts its way up the charts, I had the opportunity to talk with the band's lead singer, Jacoby Shaddix.

Just the name, Jacoby Shaddix, is enough to strike fear into the hearts of most journalists, Papa Roach wasn't invited to join the Anger Management tour for nothing, you know? He's well-known, actually quite notorious, for being a difficult interview-- mainly due to his explosive strings of expletives, and his lack of tolerance for pop music fluff writers. Jacoby has knocked more than one veteran interviewer into early retirement. I'd fancy him a heavy metal Batman, saving Gotham from the grips of banal, journalistic feculence.

Jacoby Shaddix Interview - Papa Roach - Interviews From The Edge

Journalists who have barely escaped his excoriation tend to warn others not to take a trip into the Bat Cave with him. But what I found in talking to Jacoby Shaddix is a person who immediately won my respect with his candor and his humor--a gallows humor, very much like my own. Jacoby is an extremely intelligent guy with little patience for BS and a commitment to being true to himself, his band, and to his fans; a man who is over the hype and just wants to tell his own story, in his own way--and that's what gave my conversation with him its charm, expletives and all.

Papa Roach's latest video release, "Kick in the Teeth," from the soon to be released album, Time For Annihilation.. On the Record, and On The Road.

Music Review: Papa Roach Time for Annihilation
Time For Annihilation is a declaration of perseverance. It's volatile and confrontational, brutally honest and fiercely gutsy. From start to finish this is an album that makes a powerful statement. The intense force that is Papa Roach, combined with the production talents of David Bendeth, gives the album additional punch. And there is something to be said for the shift to Eleven Seven Music; a swaggering, bravado that screams of being unchained, a sense of self regained.
Read my full editorial album review on Examiner.

I've long admired Jacoby's bad attitude towards crap journalists. After four attempts to give me a good phone connection and opening up, baring his inner thoughts with me the way he did, I can only say that I'm honored, truly. And that he gave me such a long interview time, along with time for off-the-record personal talk in between interview questions, touched me deeply. Our private conversation actually took up more time than our interview, and for that I'm grateful--and very much looking forward to speaking with him face to face when he hits Atlanta with Papa Roach in the coming weeks.

For now, you can listen to a bit of Papa Roach's latest single, "Kick in the Teeth" and also Jacoby, himself, talking about the cause, and what fans can do, personally, to support WhyHunger. He called me from Poland where Papa Roach was performing at "Polish Woodstock," another charity event for children, and during our interview he explained that event as well. We talked about the past and future plans for Papa Roach. And he also left special messages for you, his fans, both veteran Papa Roach fans and for the band's new fans also.

Jacoby is very open about himself and his feelings, sometimes to the detriment of his own reputation, but as you'll hear in our interview, he is always going to be honest. Always. Take it or leave it, this a man who will not compromise his integrity to get on anyone's good side.

I'll be speaking with him again when the new album, Time For Annihilation, is released, but for now our conversation revolved around the band's, and his own, personal commitment to the cause WhyHunger. As he explained in our interview, his family had been homeless when he was little and now, in light of Papa Roach's success, he feels a strong sense of obligation to help other families in need.

We talked only briefly about the band's new album Time For Annihilation because we had agreed to save the more in-depth song writing and production discussion for the album's release. We did however discuss Papa Roach's past hits like "Scars" and "Last Resort." We talked about the band's up-coming tour schedule and agreed to do a live interview when they hit Atlanta upon their return home from Europe later this month.

There was a moment during our interview when I was telling him how the song "Scars" affected me personally and you can hear him just say "Wow" in the background. A poignant moment for me to express my appreciation to someone who helped to bring about an epiphanous turning point in my life, an opportunity that rarely comes along in a life time, and one that should be seized whenever possible. His response let me know that he understood the depth of that effect, and I think, judging by our off-record talk, that it means a lot to him to hear that from a fan.

Jacoby Shaddix is a man who will never get tired of hearing his fans talk about their connection with him, with his music. They are the reason he continues to lay his soul bare--an open, heady feast for blood-thirsty media vampires; a modern day Prometheus, bound to the rocks for handing his flame over to mere mortals. A man for whom the words raw, vulnerable, powerful and misunderstood are all equally significant, and accurate, as descriptors.

When I said to him that "Last Resort" was huge, just a monster, was it difficult to get out from under the shadow of a hit like that, he responded "I think for us that "Scars" was the song that helped us get out of that shadow, you know? And kick open a whole new door for us. And now we've had, since then, number one songs on the radio, which has been fucking, a blessing. Yeah, but for a while it was like... that was the monster, you know? We were like FUCK dude! But then you look at it and you go, you know what? Fuck! We got a classic rock song. I mean, we have a song that's a classic. It'll be around forever."

When the band started their sound check Jacoby ducked into a dressing room saying, "FUCK! I can't do a Fucking interview for the life of me right now. Fuck!" Then he said to me, "I just told them to keep it down--I thought I'd never say that. heheh"

But, even with his colorful language, he kept his humor. I had a hard time believing that this was the same guy that people fear to interview and, like him, I couldn't believe he actually said the words "Keep it down" either. I have a feeling that may never happen again. Jacoby is definitely a rocker committed to louder. Harder. Stronger. And Papa Roach's latest album, Time For Annihilation.. On the Record, and On The Road, is truly a reflection of that commitment. It promises to be one of Papa Roach's most powerful albums to date; a reconciliation of the past and present, Time For Annihilation brings Papa Roach, finally, full circle.

Here's a bit of my discussion with Jacoby Shaddix about WhyHunger and Polish Woodstock. You can listen to the full conversation in the audio clip as well.

Jacoby Shaddix Interview Papa Roach - WhyHunger - Interviews From The Edge

The new album is special in a couple of ways, right? The one that's coming out in August. It's got live performances, it's also got new cuts, and it's also supporting a very special cause, WhyHunger, can you tell me a little bit about the cause? What kind of activities they're involved in?

WhyHunger is an organization that we've been working for for the last year. Raising money to put food on the tables of different homeless shelters across the United States. Started working with a group called Loaves and Fishes back in Sacramento, going down there, serving lunch, working on the food line, myself... me. And, you know, just getting involved in that and going "How do we do this on a national level? How do we do this every day? Instead of just trying to raise money once, and then, okay cool, we're going to do a food can drive and that's it."

So we got in touch with Why, and they're nation wide, and obviously world wide. And for us it's just an opportunity to raise money and raise awareness for the homeless folks out there. We know a lot of people are going through a lot of struggle and strife out there right now, at this time in the world, especially with the economy... with the way that it is. And, you know, homeless shelters overflowing and families just trying to make ends meet, and you know, feed their kids.

We feel that it's a good opportunity for us, as a rock and roll band, to give back to our communities directly. And 33 cents? That'll put a meal on the table. So, when I found that out I was like, man... when you go raise a thousand dollars that's almost three thousand meals, right there, on tables directly. And for us to become involved in that--I think it's just a good way, you know? Because I think, coming up, and being where I'm at, and being able to provide for my family and do that. I think it's, you know--especially where I come from, you know--the first year of my families life, of my life, my family was homeless. So, to come from not having anything, to coming to where I'm at now, it's like... I feel like... obliged and responsible to do this. And be part of this.

I talked to Youtube Video Interview with Stephen Christian Stephen Christian from Anberlin. He supports Faceless International. And the one thing that I learned from him, and one of the reasons why I try to talk to people directly, is because most of the time you just get a website... it's like okay, well, go to the website and you can find out what you can do to help but, a lot of times, what people want to know is specifically what kind of help does the organization need? Now, what he told me with Faceless, they need donations, they need prayers, but more than that they need bodies.

Oh yeah, well like I said earlier. Primarily, we encourage our fans, cause kids ask me, "what can I do if I don't have money"' I'm like, well, go to your local homeless shelter and just clean up. Work on the food line. And volunteer your time there and if you have money to donate, then donate it to Why.

The reason we got involved with Why is they're reputable and the money actually goes to where they say it's gonna go. It doesn't get lost in the lining in someone's pocket. And so yes... money definitely is the key factor to it because, like I said, 33 cents puts a meal on the table of a homeless shelter. You go into these places and they're serving 1,500 meals a day.

It just goes to show you what these places are like... they gotta cut off the line and go "Okay. Cool. That's all the food we got." You know? So, there are people that are going hungry. So, the more money, the merrier, because that just puts more food on the table. And, like I said, this isn't an organization where some CEO guy's getting his pocket lined.

Last year you guys auctioned off V.I.P passes at each show, right? To raise money. And you got to meet those folks, right?


Did a lot of those people have stories too? Because I would imagine they were probably purchasing those tickets for more than they would have if they had gotten them straight off the website.

Oh yeah. We've gotten like, anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for the V.IP. packages, and some of them are just huge Papa Roach fans and they see the cause that it's going to and they're like, "We have no problem paying this much money to come see the show." Because they know that the money is going towards a good cause. And so... some of the people have interesting stories and some people just got shit piles of money to waste on rock and roll tickets. Heheh
You know what I'm saying?

So, as we said, it's kind of like using some our status to help raise the money. Cause if I was just some Joe on the street going "Hey, give me money so I can give it to the homeless people, they might look at me like I'm some kind of jackass. I don't know.
That's kind of sad.

Well, it is a very good use for your international platform, that's for sure. And I'm sure that there are a lot of families out there right now that appreciate it, because the economy is so bad. You'd be surprised how much people appreciate it when people go out of their way for them.


I wanna go over just a couple of questions, okay? About the band, and the music. You guys are on tour right now. Where are you calling from?

I'm actually in Poland. We're doing Polish Woodstock and it's another... it's actually a charity event. It's the biggest festival in Europe. 500,000 people. All the proceeds go to the children's group here in Poland, and the kids that are in need, like in the first months of their lives. Kids that need surgeries and such like that. Or hospital care. All of the money from this goes to that. And so, we're doing that show here today.

Then we're headed off to the rest of our European tour. And we're getting ready to release a new album August 31st and so we're really excited about that. We're just gearing up, playing some of the new material and the new material's going over really well.

So, there's a general level of excitement around PaPa Roach and what we're doing right now. It feels good.

It's apparent when we step on the stage, people are really receptive to what we have to offer as a rock and roll band. And I think that just seeing the smiles on people's faces, in the front row singing along, going crazy, is all worth it.

Photos, Music and Video courtesy of Papa Roach and Eleven Seven Music.


Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd.
Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

A condensed version of this article was first published as Interview: A Chat With Papa Roach Lead Singer, Jacoby Shaddix on Blogcritics.

Monday, August 16

Concert Review: Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival 2010 (Atlanta GA)

Backstage With Winds of Plague and In This Moment at Mayhem Festival 2010, Atlanta GA

"It's quite chaotic, hence the name, Mayhem. It's three stages and they start at like two o'clock and there are motorcycles flying through the air and lots of people running around. People moshing in the brutal humidity." Ray Luzier - Korn (Headliner Mayhem Festival 2010 - Interviews from the Edge)

Photos © Tricia Weight
mayhem_festival_johnny_plague_winds_of_plagueThose words were spoken to me by Ray Luzier from Korn just ahead of my arrival at Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in Atlanta. But even his words couldn't prepare me for what I was about to encounter. Motorcycles flying through the air? Yes. Stunt bikes doing aerials, pits filled with moshers and crowd surfers. Even a heat index over one hundred couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the hardcore metal fans at Mayhem Fest Atlanta on August 1st, 2010. It made me proud of my hometown.

Mayhem Fest is an all day event, with thirteen bands scheduled on three different stages. From 1:50 until 6:20 PM nine bands rotated between the Silver Star Stage and the Jagermeister Stage and at 6:30 PM all activity moved to the Main Stage.

My interview schedule was with Korn first, since they were headlining. A pre-concert-craziness interview that we did a few days in advance of the show because we planned to cover the production and song writing on their latest album release, Korn III: Remember Who You Are; a long interview that needed a quiet space for focus.

Video: Interviews from the Edge: Korn Interview: A Chat with Ray Luzier during Mayhem Festival.

I followed up that interview on-site at Mayhem Fest with two more bands, Winds of Plague and In this Moment; live interviews held backstage, and very loud.

The first band I interviewed on-site was Winds of Plague. I went to watch them perform beforehand. Winds of Plague is easily one of the greatest, deathcore, fest bands around for audience participation; when lead singer Johnny "Plague" Cooke called the metal fans to the pit, the ground actually shook in answer to his call That call to arms echoed throughout Lakewood Amphitheater. In reaction the venue sent additional crowd control staff, strong guys in bright yellow shirts, flying across the blacktop and through the crowds to join the mob on the field of battle.

The crowd control event staff moved in, lining the stage as Cooke began whipping the crowd into a frenzy. But they weren't there to protect the band, they were there to catch surfers. The crowd had gone crazy and the stage was on blacktop. Moshers, divers and surfers as far as the eye could see. Motorcycles flying through the air in an absolutely hardcore, thrash, death-metal, aerial ballet.

I watched those crowd control guys catch surfers with, literally, no more than an inch between their skulls and the parking lot pavement. I'm positive they saved many a life that day. I watched them snatch people out of a mid-air dive and flip them right side up before pushing them back out into the crowd for another go at it. I was so awed that my mouth hung open and my camera hovered right in front of my face. I never snapped a single shot. That's a lesson I'll keep in mind for my coming coverage of American Carnage in October. Get the shot, don't stand there looking stupid.

I talked to Dave Lombardo from Slayer not long ago for an up-coming interview. I asked who his favorite band was to tour with or who he had the most fun touring with. "Marilyn Manson and Bullet For My Valentine. When we did the recent Mayhem Fest, it was 2009. We had a great time! It was fantastic!" I thought it created an odd musical picture at the time, but it was the most enthused I had ever heard him, so I knew he meant it. I can fully appreciate his enthusiasm now, having experienced it for myself.

Youtube Video: Interview - Slayer - Dave Lombrado

After checking out as many of the nine bands rotating between those two stages as was physically possible, my cell phone rang and Mayhem Tour's organizer called me to meet her so we could go over my interview schedule. Fighting my way through the crowd surges I headed across the venue to the press area for interviews. I had accepted interview invitations from Winds of Plague (basically for the same reason that I can't resist scary movies) and In This Moment, because I was one of the many who had become addicted to their cover of Blondie's "Call Me" on youtube. Also, they were the only metal band at Mayhem Fest featuring a female lead singer.

Korn was meeting and greeting fans next to us as we settled in to talk, the sound of the ongoing concerts made for interesting interview audio. You can listen to that audio if you dare, but keep in mind that, even far from the shows and the crowd, Mayhem was under way. Five Finger Death Punch was inciting the crowd to furious levels as we talked, but what you hear is nothing compared to what followed as headliners Rob Zombie, and then Korn, took the Main Stage that night. It went from Mayhem to Insanity--even after the crowd got a thorough drenching from a sudden thunderstorm during Lamb of God's Main Stage pre-headliner set.

A special thanks definitely goes out to whomever approved my photo passes and then ticketed me on the lawn for the on-coming monsoon. Because nothing says "Hey. I'm a hardcore, death metal fan." like ruined camera equipment. But the downpour still didn't dampen the spirit of Atlanta's hardcore fans; an impromptu mosh pit opened on the lawn as Lamb of God drowned out the storm with a thunderous roar of their own.

But even the rain stops for Rob Zombie and Korn; a nearly Biblical, metal moment as the clouds parted for them to take the stage. Rob Zombie hit the stage with the kind of veteran, heavy performance it takes to follow a band like Lamb of God. Guitarist John 5 finally gave the crowd what they had been screaming for throughout their performance; sending another perfectly good guitar to an early grave.

As the sun began to descend over Mayhem, Korn lit up the night with a brilliant light show and a dazzling display of pyrotechnics. They wrapped up the show, bringing everyone to their feet with a mix of hardcore fan favorites like "Freak on a Leash" and "Falling Away From Me".

Korn's latest video release "Oildale (Leave Me Alone)"
From Korn III: Remember Who You Are

New Interview with Winds of Plague lead singer Johnny Plague on
Youtube video interview with Johnny Plague on

I was lucky enough to salvage a few interview pictures.
From before the deluge.

Interview: Winds of Plague: Mayhem Fest 2010

Photo © Tricia Weight: from left to right: Winds of Plague - Johnny "Plague" Cooke (eardrum shattering lead vocals), Art Cruz (drums)

Interview: In This Moment: Mayhem Fest 2010

Photo © Tricia Weight: In This Moment - Jeff Fabb (drums)

A sincere thanks goes out to Mayhem Tour's Laura Jean, who called my cell phone several times during the show to make sure I had everything I needed for my interviews. But for her diligence at taking care of press, the lack of coordination by the venue staff would have made this fest a nightmare.

Mayhem Fest Band Schedule
Lakewood Amphitheater
Atlanta, GA 8-1-10

Silver Star Stage
In This Moment 1:50-2:20
Norma Jean 2:40-3:10
Winds of Plague 3:40-4:10
3 Inches of Blood 4:40-5:10
Atreyu 5:45-6:20

Jagermeister Stage
Mobile Death Camp 2:20-2:40
Shadows Fall 3:10-3:40
Chimaira 4:10-4:40
Hatebreed 5:10-5:45

Main Stage
Five Finger Death Punch 6:30-7:05
Lamb of God 7:25-8:05
Rob Zombie 8:30-9:30
KORN 9:55-10:55

Photos © Tricia Weight
Korn video courtesy of Roadrunner Records



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Currently Reading: An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd Look for the review soon on my blogcritics writer profile page.

Article first published as Backstage With Winds of Plague and In This Moment at Mayhem Festival 2010, Atlanta GA on Blogcritics.