Senses Fail have released their first new single of 2015, a b-side from their upcoming record Pull The Thorns From Your Heart. A decidedly heavier track than anything from the band’s first few albums, this single takes the more hardcore punk-oriented sounds of their 2013 record, Renacer, even further. “All You Need Is Already Within You” will be one of four tracks to be released on a special split with Man Overboard on March 3rd, available for pre-order NOW.
Catch Senses Fail on tour with Bayside, Man Overboard, and Seaway.
It has actively shaped our dinner conversations, our values, and our standard of living. It delivers narratives of truth and falsehood to us on a daily basis. Some may even be wont to call it a progenitor of American culture as we know it–the Television. And guess what? Punks, hardcore kids, and rockers of essentially any type have been targeted by it for some time. It’s a popular sitcom trope, a supposedly funny joke, and an inexcusable insult to an entire subculture: The Undesirable, The Delinquent, the kid you hope your daughter isn’t dating. We get it, you don’t think we belong here.
“Do you think that people should be judged until they’re driven into a hole, perhaps even suicide? Let us know!” – Russell Brand
The institutions that fabricate, structure, and reinforce American cultural values are numerous and under-analyzed. Magazines, movies, TV shows, and advertisements are all products of such institutions that the average person tends to accept as facts of reality. Outlets like People Magazine and TMZ, for example, make it acceptable and commonplace to glorify and harass the famous, a sentiment to which actor Russell Brand recently spoke. (For those of you who haven’t yet seen his keen rant on bullying in the media, with specific regards to Bruce Jenner’s so-called transgender “crisis,” watch the above video.) The music that makes it to Top 40 and the advertisements that guide us to buy our chosen brands of liquor economize the female body and human sexuality, helping to make both a battleground. The point being, the products that come from our culture are the very same that create it. This is why we as people, as Americans, and as contributors to the modern Zeitgeist need to be hyper-aware of the way we brand, market, and sell.
The video clip above is a currently running commercial for Downy’s Unstopables air freshener. Notice anything? The son of the woman who wishes the room smelled “like he’s away at boarding school” is playing guitar, has skateboarding and band posters on his wall, and is, arguably, dressed in rocker-like attire. This is the visual that is meant to warrant our, the viewer’s, sympathy and agreement. “Yes, I can see how that is unpleasant for you, Mom. You should ship him off and get an Unstopables air freshener!”
But maybe you’re not as easily triggered as I am. Maybe you don’t think this is enough of an argument to make. No problem. Below is another commercial that ran for DirecTV a couple of years ago.
Miss it that time? I hope not, because “Undesirable” was stressed four times. Of course the delinquents the daughter hangs out with after getting kicked out of school for poor behavior are dressed in studded vests, big hair, and black skinny jeans. DirecTV makes it painfully clear, “Don’t have a grandson with a dog collar.” Run along now and upgrade to DirecTV, like a Type A American.
The same problem that Brand addresses in his indictment of celebrity news as bullying is the same problem that I address here. It is that of Other-ing an individual or a group of individuals; of making such people feel unwanted and somehow wrong for their own self-expression. To put it simply, it is prejudice. If you think the use of the word here is inflammatory and misplaced, I implore you to reconsider. Like Brand aptly remarks, these kinds of media that promote bullying are “not disassociated from the more vivid and violent terrors and horrors of the world. This climate of bullying and judgement and cruelty is a violence of its own nature. It contributes to the climate. All of these things are real.”
How many people are deemed not hire-able because of piercings, tattoos, or dyed hair? Did you know any kids (or were you perhaps the kid) in school who was called ‘freak’ or ‘fag’ or some other ridiculous term, and even beat up for dressing differently or for listening to heavier music? Do you catch people staring at you in a judgmental way because you wear a lot of black or do people label you naive when you tell them “*sigh* Yes, I do still listen to My Chemical Romance”? For not just these daily experiences, but for the very reason that this concept keeps appearing in our TV commercials do I call it prejudice. Commercials like the Unstopables and DirecTV ads referenced in this article tell consumers that there is a certain type of person that does not fit the accepted model of the good ol’ American family. “You don’t want this, so take necessary precautions to avoid.”
Instead of avoiding a certain type of person, how about we make society at large more accepting of different kinds of people? Instead of relegating the American standard of youth to the white (which is a whole other can of worms), cardigan-wearing child, how about we expand our definitions? What if we accept the notion that people don’t occupy clearcut binaries of good and bad, acceptable and not? But what do I know, I’m just a delinquent, a thief who admittedly borrowed that last bit from The Breakfast Club.
I straighten my hair and wear my black hat backwards and my room smells fine.
The music video for “Out Of Control,” the third track off The Ghost Inside’s Dear Youth, has arrived in a blaze. In keeping with the name of the song are the furious townspeople, dressed in garb of another era, out for blood and destruction. This music video is reminiscent of something like Escape The Fate’s“Issues” video, in which the band awaits the onslaught of the ignorant, rampaging villagers. Do the guys in The Ghost Inside survive their own witch-hunt? Let us know what you think, and catch them on the Out Of Control Tour!
The Dayton, Ohio five-piece released their debut album Collapse via Rise Records in 2013, ushering in a new kind of energy and excitement to the world of electronically influenced post-hardcore. Currently on tour in Europe, Dangerkids found the time to release this music video for the eponymous track “We’re All In Danger.” As far as story goes, this video doesn’t seem to offer a whole lot of explanation, but the quick cuts and unsteady shots do justice to the frenzy of one of their live shows. If you don’t know Dangerkids, you will after this.
Some of you may question what it takes to be a true HXC Diehard. While the answers to that inquiry may be varied, one trait we look for is entrepreneurial spirit. No, we’re not talking about stiffs in suits walking down Wall Street. We’re talking DIY. The term ‘DIY’ is significant enough in the hardcore scene historically, and when applied to bands conjures forth a few well-known facts: Zero label support, hard work, and relentless pursuit of passion. But what about when it’s applied to one person? Meet Leonel Salcedo, founder, manager, and contributor for CrossHeart Industry. We interviewed him for our Diehards section because he had an idea that he chose to follow, and it led him to be not only a participator in his local scene, but an active shaper thereof. Read the interview below to find out more about him, CrossHeart, and what makes the New York hardcore scene worth investing in.
Christopher Tito from Zoumé named you an HXC Diehard—someone who really goes above and beyond for the hardcore scene. Why do you think you deserve this nomination?
[Laughs] I’ve been attending [local] shows for three years. I’ve never missed a show, and I have a bunch of local friends in local bands and I support them. Not only that, but I’m creating a social media platform that help bands promote themselves around the world, and also helps fans connect with every band they wish to.
To be honest, I was just sitting at home and I was just like, ‘Fuck it.’ It was just random, one of those random ideas that just happen and you’re just like, ‘Okay, let me see what I can do with it.’ Things just happened and it ended up shaping up on its own.
So you say it’s a way to help bands promote themselves. How does it work?
So, if you have a new single coming out, you’ll be able to preview it to a few thousand people, depending how much you pay and how much [exposure] you wish. Not only that, let’s say you have an album coming out, you can stream it for free, you could play your whole album on the website. For the fan part, if you attend shows, if you purchase merch, tickets, albums, if you take pictures with the bands you can also earn rewards for doing basic stuff like that. In return you get [more of] the band’s merch, new albums that are coming out, and more.
“They don’t even know your whole history, they just easily become your friends. Just saying ‘hello,’ it automatically sets something off.”
What is your role?
I’m just the founder and manager. I keep the whole team in tact. I’m also a photographer. That’s it for me. We have three other photographers, we have another manager, and we have someone who writes reviews on albums and upcoming events, someone to run our social media websites, and a graphic designer.
Is that how you know Zoumé or did you hang out with those guys before you launched CrossHeart?
That was before we launched CrossHeart. I met Christopher Tito when he was really in his scene phase. I don’t really recall how I met Jeff (Freedman, bass/vocals). One day he just came to one of my parties I threw. Brean (Holguin, drums), I just randomly met. Farhan (Tanvir, guitar) was just from hanging out with the guys.
Where are you from?
I’m Dominican. I was technically born there, but I came to America when I was one year old, so I’m kind of an American in my own way.
Where in the New York area do you live?
I live in the Bronx.
Why has the local NYC scene become so important to you?
Damn, that’s a tough question. I guess one of the main reasons is because I see a lot of my friends struggle with their own bands. A lot of them, their dream is to make it out there and tour the world. I see a lot of these other mainstream bands that really don’t deserve it. So it’s like damn, these guys are really struggling to make it out there and these other bands are like, ‘Oh my god, I’m so beautiful. Sign me.’ It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s just something you grow up with. I’ve been going to shows for three years. I don’t want to say I grew up with those kids, but they became family. When you go to shows, all these kids have their own life but when you chill with them and you hang with them and you actually spend some time with them, it’s so easy off the bat. They don’t even know your whole history, they just easily become your friends. Just saying ‘hello,’ it automatically sets something off. It’s really weird, but cool.
How long have you been working for CrossHeart? Where do you see it heading?
It’s been six months since we’ve started. For the future, we’re planning to launch our beta by this summer. If it goes well, then we’ll become a full website by next year. That’s what I have scheduled for now. But if everything does go well, I’d see us becoming one of the major milestones in the music industry.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I guess it would be Samuel L. Jackson, Dave Chappelle, Lelouch.
Why those figures?
Because Samuel L. Jackson is one badass motherfucker. If I could be any motherfucking badass in this world, it would be him, and I just have to say ‘fuck’ a lot because that’s his character. Dave Chappelle because he’s one of the funniest men on this planet. It’s something great to make people laugh a lot and if you have that talent, fantastic. Lelouch, because he pushed the boundaries of himself and he did anything possible to make his dream true.
Stick To Your Guns, Fit For A King, Scary Kids Scaring Kids.
Why are those your favorite bands?
Honestly, I really don’t know. I’m not a person who listens to music lyric-wise. When I hear it, it’s just something my body is very accustomed to. I can’t explain it.
Who would you name the next HXC Diehard?
Oh, crap. I’ll go with Marquis Green, Hector Sabino, and Tyler Andrew.
Memphis May Fire’s Matty Mullins announced the band’s headlining spot on the 2015 Take Action Tour yesterday, with bands Crown The Empire, Dance Gavin Dance, and Palisades supporting. A portion of the ticket sales for the Take Action Tour will go to the Living The Dream Foundation, so rock out and be charitable at the same time by following the links below to grab your tickets.
March 10 Expo Five – Louisville, KY
March 11 Cone Denim – Greensboro, NC
March 13 Underbelly – Jacksonville, FL
March 14 Polish American Club – Vero Beach, FL
March 15 Sidebar Theater – Tallahassee, FL
March 16 New Daisy Theatre – Memphis, TN
March 19 House of RockCorpus – Christi, TX
March 20 NSN Festival – Mission, TX
March 21 South By So What?! – Grand Prairie, TX
March 22 Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
March 24 Jake’s Sports Café – Lubbock, TX
March 25 Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX
March 27 Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
March 28 Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ
March 29 Ventura Theater – Ventura, CA
March 31 Strummer’s – Fresno, CA
April 01 B-Ryder’s – Bakersfield, CA
April 02 Senator Theatre – Chico, CA
April 04 Tempe Beach Park – Tempe, AZ (MMF ONLY)
Alesana have announced a tour for April and May of 2015. The lineup includes Capture The Crown, The Browning, Conquer Divide, and Revival Recordings labelmates The Funeral Portrait. Tickets are officially on sale.
4/3 Winston-Salem, NC- Ziggys
4/4 Louisville, KY- Expo Five
4/6 Allentown, PA- Crock rock
4/7 Millvale, PA- Mr Smalls
4/8 Worcester, MA- The Palladium
4/9 New York, NY- Webster Hall
4/10 Buffalo, NY- Waiting Room
4/11 Cleveland, OH- Agora Ballroom
4/12 Westland, MI- The Token Lounge
4/14 Lansing, MI- The Loft
4/16 Indianapolis, IN- Emerson theater
4/17 Joliet, IL- Mojoes
4/18 Minneapolis, MN- Amsterdam
4/20 Des Moines, IA- Val Air Ballroom
4/21 St Louis, MO- Firebird
4/22 Kansas City, MO- Aftershock
4/23 Denver, CO- Marquis theater
4/24 Salt lake city, UT- In The Venue
4/25 Orangevale, CA- The Boardwalk
4/26 Bakersfield, CA- Jerrys Pizza
4/27 West Hollywood, CA- Whiskey a Go Go
4/28 Tucson, AZ- The Rock
4/29 Phoenix, AZ- Joes Grotto
5/1 Houston, TX- Warehouse Live
5/2 Austin, TX- Dirty dog
5/3 Dallas, TX- Curtain club
This week’s nom goes to a gritty, filthy experience in two parts: Every Time I Die’s music videos for “Thirst” and “Decayin With The Boys.” Both tracks, from the metal/hardcore/southern rock band’s acclaimed 2014 record From Parts Unknown, showcase the intelligent lyrical bite of vocalist Keith Buckley (due to release his first novel, Scale, sometime in 2015/2016) as well as ETID’s signature raucousness and speed. With these videos, we bear witness not only to ETID’s brilliant songwriting skills, but the hell-raising attitude for which they are hailed as one of the biggest, longest remaining bands of the hardcore scene.
First in “Thirst,” we follow two ETID super-fans down the rabbit hole of day drinking, headbanging, and pre-party delinquency. The video for “Decayin With The Boys” then picks up where the former leaves off–passed out at the top of porch stairs–and brings us into a den of debauchery (Warning: Penile Display) for more drunken, drugged-out chaos. By the end of it, you’ll understand what vocalist Buckley means when he sings, “Kill the lights / I’ve seen too much.”
The internet is blowing up with “Breaking News: Danny Worsnop Leaves Asking Alexandria” headlines. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and various music media outlets are all reporting that yes, Mr. Worsnop has finally left Asking Alexandria, but the real question is “Is this actually breaking news?” The best answer to that would be no, it’s not. Ever since the third AA album, From Death to Destiny, dropped in 2013 there have been rumors of tension between Worsnop and the rest of AA. The golden friendship we saw between Worsnop and AA guitarist/founder Ben Bruce seemed clouded and the overall aesthetic of the third full-length felt forced and pulled in two different directions: AA’s signature electro-metalcore sound and the ode to ’80s hard rock that would eventually shape Worsnop’s “side project” We Are Harlot.
For anyone who has not read it, Worsnop left this note to his followers on Twitter to make his announcement:
“To all of my friends and fans: I would like to let you know that Asking Alexandria and I are moving forward in separate ways. Over the last eight years together we’ve done some amazing things and created something truly special. I now, same as then, want what’s best for the band and at this point in time, that isn’t me. Asking Alexandria will continue to tour throughout the year and will be working on a new album. I will always support and love Asking Alexandria and cannot wait to see what the future holds for them. I am excited for the next chapter of my life with We Are Harlot and will see you all on the road!”
As Worsnop forgoes continuing to work with AA, I have to ask why? Leaving a band he helped break into the scene, of which he became both a prominent face and a respected icon, is kind of like career suicide, especially if he is leaving to pursue something more in the hard rock sphere rather than the -core realm. Facebook comments are attributing this switch due to the damage Worsnop’s vocal chords have received over the years thanks to his relentless partying. Back when I was growing up and learning how to play drums, my drum teacher–for whom I have the most respect–pulled the whole “steer clear of drugs and alcohol” routine that all after school programs regurgitate to their pupils. He told me, “Don’t drink underage or passed your limit. If you do that, then you can’t be the drummer of Led Zeppelin.” Now, my teacher was referring to John Bonham who died due to over consumption of alcohol, but that always stuck with me. In Danny’s case, if he has left Asking Alexandria due to the damage drugs and alcohol inflicted, physically and perhaps interpersonally, then my drum teacher was right. All actions have consequences, even when you have made it to the top (of the scene). AA, however, accommodated Worsnop’s vocal change in From Death to Destiny showcasing in tracks like “The Death of Me” that their aesthetic could work with Worsnop’s new limitations, thus making his departure only two days after the announcement of We Are Harlot’s debut album more jarring.
Danny Worsnop with We Are Harlot in their latest release.
The two releases we have received from We Are Harlot, “Denial” and “Dancing On Nails,” have left me in a world of confusion. Whereas “Denial” sounds like Nikki Sixx got drunk, wrote a song at 3am, spilled a beer on his notes and then recorded what he had left before he went to sleep, “Dancing On Nails” is a little more digestible. The issue with these two ’80s throwbacks is that they feel like ’80s throwbacks…being played in a bar..in the East Village…by Steel Panther fans. There’s absolutely nothing in We Are Harlot at this point that I haven’t heard before. Hell, there is nothing in We Are Harlot that my parents haven’t heard before. It’s an overdone concept that bands like We Are Harlot, Black Veil Brides (and even Escape the Fate to a sense) are trying to unlock by bringing back old school rock. News Flash: Old school rock ‘n’ roll is decidedly dead by the old school rockers (*cough* Gene Simmons *cough*).
I am in no way agreeing with Simmons in saying that rock ‘n’ roll is dead. I personally believe it is very much alive, but it is alive because that old school sound no longer is. Today we have bands who are really pushing the boundaries of hardcore, metal, punk, thrash, etc. We have bands who are expanding the definition of rock ‘n’ roll; bands that are still edgy, innovative, outlandish, and of the times. As the post-hardcore scene paved the way from its earlier days with groups like Botch and Every Time I Die to what it is now with our beloved British rockers, Asking Alexandria, we consistently see progression in rock ‘n’ roll. Rock is only dead if we continue to fall back on our laurels and never risk taking it somewhere new.
Danny Worsnop circa 2009 with Asking Alexandria.
So, do I think Danny Worsnop is killing his career by forsaking Asking Alexandria? Yes. His voice is no longer what it once was, which is a true tragedy, and his creative outlook has now trailed off from that which made Stand Up and Scream one of the most innovative metalcore albums of its time. But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens, and I look forward to seeing where Ben Bruce and crew take Asking Alexandria in the near future.
Don’t agree with me? That’s cool. Let HXC know why in the comments below. We want to hear from you!
What did you eat for lunch today? We’re betting it wasn’t brain in blood soup, but in case you were craving some you can find it right here in The Funeral Portrait’s new music video. Produced by none other than Shawn Milke of Alesana/Revival Recordings, this is not your standard performance video. “Casanova (C’est La Vie)” captures the theatrical nature of the Atlanta, GA band in a bizarre montage of unnerving portraiture, blood and guts, and femme fatale. Not a fan of red corn syrup? The song, taken from their debut EP For The Dearly Departed, is a fun and charismatic romp regardless.
Like what you hear? Read more about The Funeral Portrait in an interview with vocalist Lee Jennings.