ToddStar Photography: Blog en-us (C) Todd Jolicoeur - ToddStar Photography (ToddStar Photography) Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:33:00 GMT Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:33:00 GMT ToddStar Photography: Blog 120 80 INTERVIEW: WARDEN - July 2017 According to a recent press release: "Los Angeles, CA based electronic producer Warden once again shakes up expectations with his newest and most in your face release, "Carpe The DMs (Feat. Sisterwife)," and the duo further ramps up the audaciousness with a wildly outrageous music video. Originally premiered on The Music Ninja, the parody themed video was directed by Tim Hsiung and the multi-talented Sisterwife." We get Warden to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, his influences, and more...

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Carpe the DM’s pokes fun at today’s internet culture and mishaps. It’s based around, drunk texts, douchey bros slapping high fives, and drink girls falling over outside the club.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My parents took me to my first show ever when I was about 11 or 12. It was No Doubt and The Faint and left a huge impression on me. I remember watching the keyboardist in The Faint and seeing the crowd respond to him and thinking “I wanna be that guy. I wanna make people move like that.”

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Skrillex, Moderat, Gesafflestein, Jamie xx, Kill The Noise

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

I’ve been really obsessed with this dude Moody Good lately. I think it’d be super fun to work with him and learn from him. He is mad talented.

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Dark, Heavy, Euphoric. If dubstep, house, hip hop, and techno had a baby.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Coming up with crazy concepts then actually seeing them come to life. Best thing ever.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well since I’m a producer/DJ it’s usually me that does all that alone in important. I love to cook, drink and sing all at the same time.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Maybe stand up comedy/actor. I don’t know honestly, I’d probably still work on music all the time even if I was full time at something else. I couldn’t get away from it if I wanted to.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

I don’t really believe in missteps. I think everything no matter what is a learning experience and some are tougher than others but you just have to keep your head down and grind through it. There are no do overs, there’s only shredding.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

When The Faint recorded Danse Macabre. That album introduced me to both dance music and punk which really shaped my taste and got me to where I am now.





(ToddStar Photography) interview Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:33:11 GMT
INTERVIEW: KOBRA PAIGE of KOBRA AND THE LOTUS - July 2017 According to a recent press release: "Kobra and the Lotus are set to release their new album and Napalm Records debut Prevail I this Friday. Prevail I is a rock juggernaut full of blistering guitars, pounding rhythms and haunting vocal melodies that take the listener on a sonic journey leading them out from the darkness and into the light!" We get Kobra Paige herself to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, her influences, and more...

Hey Todd, thank you so much for your patience. As soon as we started touring, I couldn’t keep up and slipped behind a little! I’m very grateful for your support towards Kobra and the Lotus \M/.

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

This is without a doubt our most thoughtful music yet. It will take multiple listens for people to strip through the layers and notice/find all the details. I believe the diehard supporters are the people who will grow attached to the weird sounds or guitar nuances in the background. They will find the sounds and will expect to hear them live and begin to feel like it’s a part of their favourite things within the music. Even a sonar bass drop at the beginning of a verse can become something to attach to when caring for the music!! I know this because I do it myself with favourite artists!!

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My father got me into music. He’s a beautifully gifted pianist and I grew up falling asleep to classic composition lofting threw the air at night. My parents used to put Vivaldi on a discman and put the headphones on my mother’s stomach when she was pregnant with me as well. I don’t know if it’s strange luck or there is some bizarre science around this  but the Vivaldi ended up being  my first musical love as a young child…I even have some of The Four Seasons tattooed on my body. Eerie! I didn’t know I wanted to be a rock musician until my dad took me to see Judas Priest. It was game over the anything else from that moment on. I was 15.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Vivaldi, and the fifth is open to a million possibilities from Beyonce to Ville Valo to Matt Barlow to Jeff Loomis to Marty Friedman to  Sebastien Bach to Devin Townsend to Type O Negative!!! Can of open worms! Especially as I grow older :O.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Honestly….Eminem. Please Eminem!!!!

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Melodic, heavy, vibrant, metal, and hard rock with kick ass guitars!!

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Connecting to other people and also connecting the world through a global language. Exposing how relatable we truly are and also reminding people that there still is goodness in the world and they all have it.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We all cook! I’d say Marcus gets the drinks in but then again so does Brad and it’s game on! Jasio will always be strumming or playing something nice if a guitar is in his hands =-).

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I would be an integrative pediatrician and also work with Lyme patients specifically!!

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

No, not at all. We wouldn’t be in this specific moment in time if we did anything differently. Unfortunately, there are very tough lessons that come in life but that is for anything. Driving a band has been very challenging but I’m getting smarter with working within the industry and can’t regret any of the scrapes or bruises.

10. I you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Oh man I would be a part of Led Zeppelin... the ambiance was unbelievably magical.






(ToddStar Photography) interview Thu, 27 Jul 2017 20:02:52 GMT
INTERVIEW: ERIN SPERDUTI of PARANOVA - July 2017 According to a recent press release: "Phoenix, Arizona Progressive Rock band Paranova, who met 100% of their goal on Pledge Music will independently release their debut record titled Hyperhollow on July 7th. Their single "Headline" has already caught the attention of local radio station ALT AZ 93-3 who spun the song on the Homegrown with Mo Show. Paranova will be hitting the road this month on a headlining run in support of the new release." We get bassist Erin Sperduti to answer our 10 Quick Ones about new music, her influences, and more...

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

To start, this release was the result of about a year and a half of writing music together. It took many nights of writing and re-writing all the parts and details, but we feel that we have finally put together a product that we can be proud of. We really wanted to craft a sort of concept album, and that is exactly what we did. The majority of the album is a thematic analysis of how humans disregard their best interests in favor of shallow, fleeting feelings and actions. This subject is where the album title and main track, “Hyperhollow,” draws its inspiration from. That part may be a bit less obvious to the listener at first.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

We were all raised in really supportive homes, and we tried so many different hobbies as kids. Between football, dance, acting, and countless other activities, we really tried to find our niche early on in life. But none of these hobbies enriched our lives nearly as much as picking up an instrument. Music opened up a whole other world for all of us, and it proved to be pretty addictive. You get to challenge yourself to get better at your instrument all while creating soundscapes together, all the while channeling the emotions that are most relevant to you at the time.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

This differs greatly between all of us, and I think that’s what keeps writing interesting. But if we had to group together some names, I would list the following:

  • The Mars Volta. Omar (guitarist/composer) is a personal hero to our guitarist Dylan, and this particular band inspires us to take risks when songwriting and recording.
  •  Karnivool. Their album Sound Awake was introduced to us about 2 years ago, and ever since, we have been entirely in love with this band. There is no such thing as wasted time in this album. This band is a huge influence to the instrument tones and song structures of our own music.
  • Nothing More. One of the best live bands we have ever seen together (…and we have each seen them about 7 times now!) Not only is their live show absolutely electric, but they are able to incorporate political themes into their music flawlessly.
  • Bruce Springsteen. This one is a bit of a wild card, but he has influenced me more than anyone else. The way he is able to tell stories and express feeling through his music inspires me to write the best lyrical content I possibly can.
  • Tool. Um, duh! They’re just incredible. Every instrument is highlighted in a complimentary way. They are masters of composition.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Omar Rodriguez Lopez (At the Drive In, The Mars Volta.) Music seems to come as naturally as breathing does to him, and practically all The Mars Volta records leave us in awe every time we listen to them. I think that he has just about mastered music. We are all inspired by Omar, but especially Dylan (guitarist). He is actually planning to get a tattoo sleeve depicting the full plot of Deloused in the Comatorium (an album by The Mars Volta.)

5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

We just say that we are an Alternative Rock band, to keep it broad. We explore a lot of different genres as well, like metal and jazz, but keeping it general has always been our approach. We want people to get curious enough to listen to the music instead of putting our sound into a box.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Getting to create something. I’m a firm believer that everyone needs some kind of creative outlet, and music satisfies that urge for all of us.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Good one! Well, Owen and Logan (drummer/singer) are either at the gym, at work, or drinking Coors Light. Dylan (guitarist) falls asleep with a guitar in his hands before the party even begins. As for myself, I eat the food and pet the dogs.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Being a musician! As a musician, being successful and making an income making music is still my dream job.  Very few hard-working and deserving musicians are lucky enough to get to a place where they can make money doing what they love, so it is the dream and the goal for all of us.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

Fortunately, nothing too significant comes to mind. The only thing I can think of is that we really wish we recorded live drums on the record instead of programmed drums. We just couldn’t afford it, as is the case with many fund-it-all-yourself endeavors. We’re still proud of the final product, though.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

In the Court of the Crimson King (King Crimson). This album defied all recording norms of the late 1960’s. With purely raw instrumentation and relatively elementary recording technology, King Crimson was able to achieve an incredibly huge sound compared to the popular music that preceded them. To go back in time and see how they came up with the song structures and soundscapes that they did would likely inspire us endlessly.






(ToddStar Photography) interview Thu, 27 Jul 2017 19:26:38 GMT
INTERVIEW: JOSH TODD of JOSH TODD & THE CONFLICT - July 2017 According to a recent press release: "JOSH TODD & THE CONFLICT have unveiled the powerful new music video for the title track off their debut album, Year of the Tiger, out September 15th on Century Media Records. The clip, directed by the renowned Chris Cuffaro (Pearl Jam, George Michael), is the first of three videos shot as a mini-concert this past May in the band’s hometown of Los Angeles. The other two videos will be released over the next few months. See below to check out the new video and access the pre-order links for the new album. The band will be touring world-wide throughout 2017/2018."  As frontman Josh prepares to support the new release with press and touring, we were able to grab a little of his time to discuss the new release and much more!!

Toddstar: Thank you so much for taking time out man, I appreciate this.

Josh: My pleasure.

Toddstar: Well, let's jump into the good stuff. Josh Todd & the Conflict, Year of the Tiger. I have been spinning this thing since I got the download. I can't stop listening, man. What is it about this album that you feel takes what you do to the next level?

Josh: Man, it's passion. It had coming up on two years since I put a record out, and I really was in a position, kind of back against the wall once again in my career, and I had to dig deep and make the record of my career again. That's the way I felt inside. It may not have seemed like that, but I got with Stevie, my guitar player and songwriting partner, and he also co-produced the record, and he plays in Buckcherry as well, a long-time friend prior to even being in a band together. And it was a labor of love for us. We were in the same boat in our lives, and we were really into this music, and we have a great band now with Sean Winchester on the drums, who played with Everclear and Bow Wow Wow, old punk rock bands, and Greg Cash on the bass who played with Dorothy. It's just such a great group. I just can't wait to do this live a lot. I've done a handful of shows with these guys, and it's been amazing. We've got stuff coming up, and we're gonna start hitting it hard in the fall. But to answer your question, it's just, I really love what I do, and I'm a student of the game. I want everything to be great, I want, when I look back on it when it's all said and done to be like, "Man, I'm really proud of this body of work." So I'm so glad that you have the record, because I've been sitting on it since March. I've done a bunch of press, and some of the people haven't gotten the record, and the people that have the record are really into it, and it makes me so happy. That's like the big payoff, you know?

Toddstar: Well, the fun part for me is - and I've been a fan forever - what you did with Buckcherry in the beginning, and then you jumped into You Made Me, which I thought was just such a good turn for you. But this kind of really marries everything you've done in my mind, even going into this Spraygun War stuff.

Josh: Yeah, it really encompasses everything that I'm about, and that's why I love it, dynamically as well.

Toddstar: From the jump of "Year of the Tiger," that's what made me think of Spraygun War, is it took me right back to that same kind of groove. I don't want to call it rap-rock, I don't want to call it nu-metal, it's none of that shit; this is Josh Todd & The Conflict. And it shouldn't be confused with any of that other stuff, because it really is you and Stevie and the other guys in the band, but you can tell it's you guys.

Josh: Yes. There was a good quote, I talked to this guy earlier today, and he's like, "IF GNR, Nine Inch Nails and Rage Against The Machine made a record, this is it. And it sounds nothing like any of those bands." And I was like, "That's awesome, give me that quote, I love it."

Toddstar: And this is cool, and I want to get to the cover on it in a minute, but looking through these songs, which of these songs really kind of fought you guys tooth and nail? Were there any songs that just didn't work the way you wanted them to in the beginning?

Josh: Yeah. First of all, "Year of the Tiger" was one of the first songs we had written, and that kind of was the song that was the foundation of the record. It was like, "Oh my God, this song is so great. This makes me want to just fucking do a bunch of crank and drive recklessly through the streets of Los Angeles, and shoot guns..." I was just like, "This song, this is it." That was the song that was like, "We know what we got now, we know how special this can be," and we just started writing like there was no business. So that being said, I'll tell you the songs that came easy, like "Rain," I wrote a cappella; I wrote it just with my voice. I wrote all the lyrics and melodies for the verse and the chorus, and I went to Stevie when I was like halfway through the writing process, and I go, "This song, I want like a 'We are the Champions' beat, and I want you to rip a solo like Brian May rips a solo, something memorable and iconic. That's what I want in the middle, and then put some music to it." And we just got a tempo, and I sang it a cappella down, and I came back the next day and Stevie had all the music done. And it just came out real quick, and it was amazing. We're actually doing a concept video to "Rain" right now, it's gonna be amazing, and Billy Jane is directing it, he did a couple Buckcherry videos, and we just have a really good relationship with him. He's super talented. And then songs like "Fucked Up," for instance, which we just dropped on the internet, that came together... it was good, and the music was good and we had a good chorus, but I couldn't get the verses to work. So that was actually the third verse I'd come up with, and it was kind of off the beaten path of what I would normally write, which was really cool. I remember just coming in being so fucking frustrated with the song. I was like, "If this verse doesn't work, I'm done with this fucking song, and I don't want to hear it again." And he's like, "All right." And I just ripped it out, and we were like, "That's it, we got it." So songs like that, and I'm trying to think of what the other songs ... You know there were just songs, like I said, that sometimes you write a song and it just comes out. Usually hits are really easy, like "Year of the Tiger" wrote itself really quick, and "Rai"n wrote itself really quick. But songs like "Push It" we had to work on a little bit. I remember that was like the third chorus I'd come up with. I really liked the verse, but I could get a chorus to pop. And then, that was like the last one I wrote, and again, I was at my wit's end. I'm like, "I don't want to re-approach this song ever again." So usually, that's when it all happens, right when you're at that frustrated moment, and you have a breakthrough, and then that becomes the song that it needs to be. So that's all I can say about that so far.

Toddstar: You mentioned "Year of the Tiger," and I had the same kind of thought you had. You talked about doing crank and just driving through LA. The first thing I thought is, it would be the perfect soundtrack for like Grand Theft Auto or something like that, it just had that groove and that feel to it that pushed you to that edge. But what I like is, you get a track like Atomic, and it's got the same feel without sounding rehashed.

Josh: Yeah.

Toddstar: How is it you can come up with and without rehashing the sound, how is it you kind of weave that magic?

Josh: You know, the "Atomic" was a song that Stevie and I wrote electronically, right? And then, it had just been lying around for a while, and I'm like, "This song is so fucking good, we've got to make it a rock track." So we broke it down as a four-piece band, and it just popped immediately. It translated really well. So that song was really effortless, and I don't know, maybe the fact that I approached that song electronically makes it sound the way it sounds with a rock band, so that could be the reason. I don't know, but we just want to take the best songs that we got and put them on a record, and that song made the cut. There were some songs that didn't make the cut, but Atomic was one of the last ones that kind of came and slid underneath the rug there to get on the record.

Toddstar: Well you said the key words, "There were some songs that didn't make it," so now do we have to look forward to some B-sides, some stuff creeping out?

Josh: Yeah, there's a B-side called "Bullet," and it's really good. We play it live and I'm like, "I feel like it's better live than it is recorded," but everybody likes the song. We just felt, Stevie and I did, it just wasn't as great as the rest of the record. So it's definitely a B-side out there that you'll be able to find when the record gets released.

Toddstar: Awesome. Josh, when you look over this list of songs, which songs do you feel hold up against other huge hits throughout your career, going way back?

Josh: Wow. I think "Rain" is a smash hit. It's a first-time listen, it's one of those songs that is just... everybody we've played it for has just loved it. So, hopefully that'll happen on radio, you just never know. The timing and the song and everything has to be aligned to be right. There's a song called "Good Enough" on the record which is a slower kind of acoustic song with a droning beat, and it's one of my favorite songs on the record. Songs like "Story of My Life" and "Push It," and as far as competing with radio songs that we've written in the past, are fucking great. So they hold up with all of the stuff that I've done in the past.

Toddstar: That said, what song was a huge radio hit that you thought, "Not a chance."

Josh: "Crazy Bitch," for sure. I just, I didn't see it coming, I didn't see that song getting on the radio because of the lyrical content. I just didn't know what it was gonna do, and it became this phenomenon. So I'm really grateful, that's what you work hard for is to get a hit. I didn't think "Lit Up" would be a hit either because of the lyrical content, and it became a hit. So those songs were a surprise for sure.

Toddstar: You talk about going out and touring this, is this the one where you're gonna try and hook up with somebody, and go out and put a package together, or are you looking to bring this to the masses and play every little place you can put your hands on? I've seen you guys at The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan so many times, it's so much fun seeing you at a place like that, because you're so close and so accessible.

Josh: This would be a great band for The Machine Shop. We love The Machine Shop man, there's always a great turnout when I'm there, and I'm really grateful for all of Michigan. We've had so many memorable shows, great rock fans. So we're gonna do whatever it takes to break this record, so of course we want to be on a package tour, we want to get in front of large audiences, because that's the quickest way to the top. And that's definitely where our mindset is gonna be, that we'll do it all. We'll go play The Machine Shop one day and go play a theater the next day, and go play a big radio festival the next day. It doesn't matter; it's the same approach to everything. When I go on stage, I have the same mindset, I want to give 110%, I want to give people their money's worth. It means a lot to me that people are working hard and they... The average concertgoer goes to maybe two shows a year, so I think about that when I go on stage, it means a lot to me. So, I want to make sure that I leave it all on stage, that I don't leave anything left in the tank.

Toddstar: And that's admirable, especially like you said, in the day and age when people can't get out to a rock show for 10 or 15 bucks sometimes.

Josh: Yep.

Toddstar: Other times I've seen you, you are so accessible, and so friendly to the fans. I can remember one time seeing you outside, and you were actually on your skateboard, and all I did was roll down my window and yell out "What time to you guys hit the stage?" And you turned around, you said "What's up?" You responded, and you kept going. What's it about the fans, or what drives you to connect with the fans the way you do? Because so many guys in your position would have kept going, or said "Fuck off" or just moved along, but you didn't. What about that connection is there for you?

Josh: It's all about the connection. I mean, writing songs is about connecting to your audience. So, it's like without the fans and people showing up, there is no Josh Todd & The Conflict, there is no Buckcherry. So it's this synergy, and I always like to remain humble and teachable, and that's really important to me. So I don't put myself above anybody else. I can't say that I haven't been grumpy, and people have approached me when I've been grumpy. Sometimes I've been short with people because I'm grumpy, or somebody's being kind of obnoxious or whatever, I have those moments. But most of the time I'm very approachable, and it's all about just being at one with everybody else, because that's what it's all about.

Toddstar: You're bringing up Josh Todd & The Conflict, you're talking about touring it, and you've still got the Buckcherry thing going, but how much of this Josh Todd & The Conflict, how many times have you guys said, "Let's pull out one of those tracks from You Made Me, let's do this one."

Josh: We have so much content, so it's like... And this record's so good that we just want to play all of it. So we're playing all of it, we're also playing "OMG" from the Spraygun War EP, there's some Spraygun War songs that we are converting, and you just never know what's gonna happen when we get on stage as far as the songs we'll get into.

Toddstar: But you've always had that dynamic when you've played live, that's why it's always so much fun to come see you. Getting back to that though, what made you pick "Erotic City" of all songs to cover?

Josh: You know, Stevie and I are huge Prince fans, and it's such a goddamn shame that that guy's gone. I really thought that he was going to be this guy that was gonna live til he was very old and have a voice for many years, kind of like Stevie Wonder, and just be always raising the bar. So I was really blown away by his passing, along with the majority of the world. And everybody went out and played Prince songs live, and I just kind of laid low and was like, when it got time to the songwriting, I was like, "We've got to do a Prince song, let's do "Erotic City." I want nasty Prince, and let's make it a Conflict song." And that's the challenge, taking a song from that genre of music and making it into your own, and I think we did a great job with "Erotic City." So I hope everybody likes it.

Toddstar: I love it, and what I liked about it, and it kind of builds on what you said about taking a song from another genre is, you took a song that's well-loved, man, and you really made it your own without changing the groove of the track. How important was that to you that you kind of Josh Todded it and Conflicted it without changing the whole breakdown of the track?

Josh: Yeah, you can't change the groove, because that groove is very special. I think, just being a songwriter, you know that going in, that you have to keep the integrity of your song, or there's no point in covering it. You want people to be able to go, "Oh, it's that song," and relate to it right away out of the box. So that's the challenge, keeping the groove and keeping the integrity of the song, and kind of making it your own. And that's what I put to Stevie, I'm like, "You gotta have that hook in there. Wah-uh-uh-uh, you gotta have that in there and do it on the guitar and make it sick, but we gotta have this heavy groove underneath." I put it to him, I gave him direction, and he came back with great stuff. And it was just a softball for me singing over it.

Toddstar: Well that's something you guys have always done, you've always come up with great tunes that are good to get your groove on to, so this was the perfect touch for you. On a more serious note Josh, looking back over your career, any missteps that you'd like to have a redo on? Is there just anything, looking back where you say, "Fuck, I wish I could redo that?"

Josh: God, there's just so much. I mean, I don't have regrets, but there's so many moves I wish I didn't make, because I made desperate decisions at times because of money and stuff like that. And that's what I wish I would have changed, and there will be no more of that in the future. And just some people that I got in the business with where I just knew better, it wasn't a good idea, and band members, and just a lot of stuff... but you know what? It's all a learning process, and I learned from all of that, and it got me to new levels in my career because of it, it really motivated me. But there's a lot of stuff that I could have done without, because I'm already very motivated.

Toddstar: Well listen man, I know you're busy, and you've got to get out there and promote this disc, because everybody should put their hands on this.

Josh: Yes, I agree.

Toddstar: This just really takes what you've done and takes it to the next level, in my opinion, and I can't wait to see this live in Detroit, Flint, or anywhere close.

Josh: Thanks so much.

Toddstar: Thank you for your time, and can't wait to see you hit Detroit, and maybe we'll catch up then.

Josh: Yes sir, I appreciate it. Take it easy.






(ToddStar Photography) interview Thu, 27 Jul 2017 18:35:08 GMT
Frontiers Music srl is pleased to announce the second studio release by Phantom 5, PLAY TO WIN! The album will be out on October 13, 2017! Checkout the first song and video, “The Change In You”, to be released from the album here:




After the success of their self-titled debut album, the brainchild of producer/guitarist (and for this record, bassist) Michael Voss and vocalist Claus Lessmann have returned with yet another incredible outing of impeccable German melodic hard rock! Once again joined by Robert Boebel on guitars and keyboards and Axel Kruse on drums, these fist pumping anthems will tickle the eardrums of any connoisseur of melodic hard rock.


Michael Voss says, "To all the rockers out there, we are more than happy to continue this lab our of love and come back with a bang! Again, guitar wizard Robby Boebel delivered powerful riffs and Claus wrote some magic melodies. The drums were delivered by heart-pounding visual timekeeper Axel Kruse and taped by the famous Rolf Munkes at Empire Studios. 11 well balanced songs, full of emotion and power, right in the vein of our first album. If you like the first one, you will love the new one! Come and get it... and play it loud...we play 2 win!!!"


Follow the band on Facebook here:

(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 14:08:26 GMT
NEWS: LYZZÄRD set release date for FIGHTER RECORDS debut - reveal first track, cover
Fighter Records is proud to announce the signing of Lyzzärd, one of Portugal's finest and most promising heavy metal acts, for the official release of their debut album, Savage, which was originally self-released earlier this year as a limited CD-R pressing.


Formed back in 2013, Lyzzärd released an EP entitled Release the Hounds in 2014, where their music was turning into pure heavy metal, until the recording of their debut album, Savage, during the last months of 2016. This work reflects the true spirit of the band, showing fresh and powerful heavy metal rooted in traditional '80s bands combined with a modern approach in the vein of bands like Enforcer, Ambush, Skull Fist, White Wizzard, and Striker.


Official release date for Savage will be September 27th through Fighter Records on CD format. Lyzzärd will re-launch an official video-clip of the song "Katana" next month, so watch out for it. In the meantime, hear the new track "Fire" at Fighter's official YouTube channel HERE.


Tracklisting for Lyzzärd's Savage:

  1. Nightwatcher
  2. Heavier than Life
  3. Savage
  4. Yakuza
  5. Fire
  6. Living in the Dawn
  7. Queen of Vengeance
  8. Survivor
  9. Metalzone
  10. Maniac (Michael Sembello cover)



(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:56:41 GMT
Nashville, Tenn. (July 19, 2017) – Jamboree In The Hills returned for its 41st year in Morristown, Ohio, to the delight of generations of returning fans and eager new faces alike on Thursday-Sunday (7/13-16). Each year the small town in Belmont County turns upside down for campers traveling from all over the U.S. to experience a four-day Country music party unlike any other.


Headlined by Country’s hottest stars including multi-PLATINUM Thomas Rhett (Thursday), two-time and reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean (Friday), seven-time GRAMMY award-winning trio Lady Antebellum (Saturday), and with more than 50 hit songs Sawyer Brown (Sunday), alongside red-hot performers such as Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Young, Brothers Osborne, RaeLynn, Kane Brown, and Brett Young, JITH yet again proved why it’s one of the longest-running and best-loved summer Country festivals in the world.


In addition to high-energy performances of hit Country songs of the past and present, special moments included Chris Young (alongside Shane Owens) stopping by the campground to surprise an estimated 1,000 guests during the festival’s first year of their “Jambo After Dark” after-party and Country music legend Tanya Tucker returning to the JITH stage after making her first appearance in 1983. The spectacular Friday night fireworks display also had guests of every age reminiscent of years past as it spanned a montage of JITH performances starting in 1977 through this year.


Click here for festival photos.


Deeply rooted in cherished traditions, JITH continued one-of-a-kind fan-favorite rituals such as their “Redneck Run” each morning – giving guests the chance to line up early and race to claim their prime concert spot for the day. A creative cooler contest also took place which fans impressively start building their own custom coolers a whole year in advance to compete for the ultimate prize.


“The best part of Jamboree In The Hills is the fans. Their deep-rooted love of this historic festival shines through in every aspect of its traditions," shares Kelly Tucker-Jones, General Manager – Jamboree In The Hills. "This festival is more than Country music, Jamboree In The Hills is family and friends from the staff to the fans – we all feel like we are one unit that gets to spend the best weekend of the year together year after year!”


From decked out campers to personal swimming pools, the lively campsite of trailers even housed enclosed “Jambo Glam” lodging for the first time this year – offering powered “glamping tents” which were equipped with a hospitality staff and exclusive access to air-conditioned restrooms, showers, a well-stocked lounge area with snacks and morning coffee, and a community gas grill.


Jamboree In The Hills 2017 was co-presented by WTOV9, WOVK-Wheeling, WPGB-Pittsburgh, WCOL-Columbus and iHeart Country. To find out more about the festival, please visit and Facebook.

(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:53:17 GMT
NEWS: Between You & Me Sign To Hopeless Records And Release New Single "Overthinking"
July 19th, 2017 - Melbourne, Australia - Australian-based band Between You & Me has signed to Hopeless Records. The band self-released their debut EP, Paper Thin, in 2016 and have toured with bands including As It Is and With Confidence. "Overthinking" is Between You & Me's new single, which you can now stream on Spotify and Apple Music or watch the new music video here:


Between You & Me consists of members Jake Wilson, Jai Gibson, Chris Bowerman, Jamey Bowerman, and James Karagiozis.


Vocalist Jake Wilson shares his excitement about becoming part of the Hopeless Records family stating, "Signing to a label like Hopeless Records is one of those things you always strive for and work towards when you're in a band. But when we were closing in on a dream of ours it still felt very surreal. I'm very humbled and thankful that Hopeless saw something in us that was worth putting their time, money and faith in."


In regards to the new single Jake explains, "When I was writing 'Overthinking,' I think I was just having one of those weeks where I was fed up with waking up for the same boring job everyday. I was getting dragged down by my job and I was left with no energy to pursue my passion, which is writing music. In the song I face the struggle of feeling like I've missed my chance to make my passion my career."


The band is confirmed to play a run of Australian shows this summer. Tour dates can be found below.

Tour Dates:

Australia Tour w/ Trash Boat:

8/21 - Sydney, AUS @ Brighton Up Bar

8/22 - Wollongong, AUS @ Rad Bar

8/31 - Melbourne, AUS @ Wrangler Studios

9/2 - Melbourne, AUS @ Bang!



(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:49:15 GMT
NEWS: Chicago Open Air - America’s Greatest Metal Experience Unites 70,000 Fans
The rock and metal community came out in force for the second annual Chicago Open Air festival, July 14, 15 and 16 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL. There were 70,000 in attendance for America’s Greatest Metal Experience which featured a rare U.S. festival appearance from rock legends KISS, and one of the first performances from Ozzy Osbourne since reuniting with guitarist Zakk Wylde after a decade apart.


The three-day festival featured over 40 music performances, also including Saturday headliners Korn, plus Rob Zombie, Slayer, Godsmack, Megadeth, Stone Sour (who currently hold the #1 spot on the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums Chart with Hydrograd), Seether, Anthrax, Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Amon Amarth (with an elaborate stage production featuring a Viking ship façade and a Nordic battle), and many more on the Main Stage and the BlackCraft Stage.


Check out Chicago Open Air video highlights here:


Chicago Open Air also gave the stage to up-and-coming acts like the Boston-based extreme melodic metal band Aversed, who was handpicked by their fellow students to play the festival as part of a Berklee Popular Music Institute program, and Michigan metalcore act For We Are Many.


Chicago Open Air brought fans, media, and bands from around the U.S. and throughout the world to Chicago. Media outlets came from as far as England, China, Mexico, Canada, and Finland, while bands represented the best from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Poland, and South Africa.


Clay Busch, Vice President of Marketing for Danny Wimmer Presents explains, "After the incredible debut of the Chicago Open Air festival in 2016, we knew we had to come back even bigger and better in 2017. We have our great heavy metal family in the Chicago area to thank for welcoming us back so strongly and showing us there is a community of fans here that enjoys coming together in the spirit of music. We look forward to building on that relationship in the years to come and solidifying Chicago Open Air as America’s greatest heavy metal experience.”


In addition to music, a number of special events, onsite attractions, and festival partners make Chicago Open Air a must-attend destination.


The festivities got underway with the Chicago Open Air Kickoff Dinner at Kuma’s Corner (2900 W. Belmont) on Thursday. The event was hosted by Jose Mangin from SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal and attendees enjoyed Kuma’s famous heavy metal-themed burgers, appetizers, and craft beer.


Chicago Open Air featured a variety of unique entertainment offerings to go along with its incredible music, food, and beverage lineup, including the Monster Energy Experience (featuring signings with Chicago Open Air artists), Headbangers Bier Hall: Presented by Decibel Magazine (a metal themed dive bar featuring national and regional craft beers and artist inspired beverages), the Jack Daniel's Experience, The Music Experience, Ellefson Coffee House, Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden, Heavy Tiki  Bar, Kuma’s Corner, BlackCraft apparel shop, FYE Fan Experience (hosting signings and pop-up performances with artists from participating record labels Roadrunner, Century Media / Another Century, Nuclear Blast / SharpTone Records, Spinefarm and Razor & Tie), Fxck Cancer and the Dyin 2 Live Dreams program, and the Take Me Home animal rights advocacy foundation.


Chicago Open Air is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, Live Nation and Toyota Park, with the support of the Village of Bridgeview and Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek.


Chicago Open Air sponsors include: Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, FYE, Revolution Brewing, BlackCraft Clothing, Ellefson Coffee, Dyin 2 Live / Fxck Cancer, Take Me Home Animal Rescue, The Music Experience, Razor & Tie, Nuclear Blast, Sharptone, Spinefarm, Roadrunner Records, and Century Media Records.


About Danny Wimmer Presents: Since 1993, music industry veteran Danny Wimmer has been producing concerts and festivals, both large and small. In 2011, he formed Danny Wimmer Presents, which now produces several of the largest rock and alternative festivals in the U.S. By combining A-list talent with local cuisine and culture, DWP has become recognized within the industry for delivering the highest-quality entertainment experiences to fans, artists, sponsors, partners and host cities. DWP creates memorable and all-encompassing festival experiences, leaving both consumers and partners with lasting and meaningful impressions. With 580,000 fans attending all DWP festivals in 2015, and 10 billion media impressions, DWP will continue to add new music festivals to its already stellar portfolio, which includes Rock On The Range, Monster Energy Aftershock Festival, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, Louder Than Life, Bourbon & Beyond, and Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, among others.


About Live Nation Entertainment: Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world's leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation Concerts, Live Nation Media & Sponsorship and Artist Nation Management. For additional information, visit


About Toyota Park: Toyota Park is located at 7000 South Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, IL. It’s the heart of soccer for much of the Midwest and a must-see destination for world-class concerts and other sporting events. Toyota Park is conveniently located in Bridgeview near I-294 and-I-55, within an easy drive from every corner of the Chicago area. Just 15 miles from Chicago's Loop, Toyota Park offers ample parking and is served by PACE buses and shuttle links with the nearby CTA Midway Orange Line station.

(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:44:29 GMT
NEWS: ACCEPT - Third And New Album Trailer Revealed!

Heavy metal pioneers ACCEPT are back in the game with a new studio album! The record entitled The Rise Of Chaos, will be unleashed on August 4th, 2017. The band's 4th studio release through Nuclear Blast will continue the tradition of its three predecessors - Blood Of The Nations, Stalingrad, and Blind Rage - with grandeur and precision.


Today, the band releases their third album trailer in which Wolf Hoffmann explains the album title and why it fits so perfectly in today's world. If you want to find out about the connection between the new ACCEPT album and the rise of chaos in our world, watch the clip here:


Wolf states: "The more you look at the news nowadays, the more the album title fits because times get pretty chaotic these days. Things seem to be getting more and more extreme. Violence and terror will often result in even more violence. Stephen Hawking or somebody once said that in a hundred years from now, there won't be any more people on this planet. We will be all extinct one day because we might have killed ourselves. Who knows? But it's certainly an interesting thought..."


"The Rise Of Chaos is something I have been thinking about often. Wherever we go - there is some hidden as well as some visible destruction and it kind of changes the world we know. What was there today - can be gone tomorrow and it’s somehow irritating, because it happens on so many levels and no one knows what comes next. The cover portrays our last stage set-up - but now clearly “destroyed" - like… after a catastrophe", explains Wolf Hoffmann.


Watch the new video clip of 'The Rise Of Chaos' here:


You can purchase the limited edition 7inch vinyl single of the title track 'The Rise Of Chaos' in different colors here:

Get the digital single, here:

Listen in NB Novelties playlist:


Vinyl single track list::

A: The Rise Of Chaos

B: Dark Side Of My Heart (live @ BYH 2015)


Watch the new video clip of "The Rise Of Chaos" here:


The Rise Of Chaos is available in the following formats:

  • CD Jewel
  • Orange/Blue Swirl Vinyl (Limited to 700 worldwide)
  • T-shirt bundle ( T-shirt + CD + Poster)

Pre-order the new album:

Get the digital version of the new album, here:


Below is the track list for The Rise Of Chaos:

  1. Die By The Sword
  2. Hole In The Head
  3. The Rise Of Chaos
  4. Koolaid
  5. No Regrets
  6. Analog Man
  7. What’s Done Is Done
  8. Worlds Colliding
  9. Carry The Weight
  10. Race To Extinction


The cover artwork of the new record was created by the Hungarian artist Gyula Havancsák.


And if this wasn't enough, ACCEPT will celebrate the album's live premiere exclusively on August 3rd, on the day before its release, as a part of a special show at Wacken Open Air, Germany. The set will consist of three parts, which represent the band's creative power:


Part 1 will bring fans a classic ACCEPT set, packed with new and old hits.

Part 2 will present another premiere: Wolf Hoffmann will be playing tracks from his solo album Headbangers Symphony, released in 2016, with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra for the very first time. On this record, Wolf has covered famous opuses by composers such as Beethoven, Vivaldi, and Mozart, in a metal guise. And in Part 3, all elements can be seen and heard together: ACCEPT will make the holy Wacken ground shake by sharing the stage with the orchestra, supported by a complex multimedia show.


This unique concert experience will take place on this year's Night To Remember which makes it even more special. The Night To Remember is a celebrated, long-lasting Wacken tradition; for one night of the festival a selection of established bands will do something unique and special with their performance.


Wolf Hoffmann stated: "It's always impressive to see how bands take this evening seriously and how much love the artists and the organist team put into their work to get a varied result. It's a great tradition which underlines and documents the top-notch level of the international rock community like nothing else. We also want to present something that ACCEPT has never done before, we hope we can give something really special to the fans."


"ACCEPT have been and are still a very important part of Germany's heavy metal scene. We're really looking forward to having them with us once more. With this epic concept, the Thursday evening will be one to remember for sure," stated Thomas Jensen, organizer of Wacken Open Air.

More info:


ACCEPT live 2017:

08/03/2017  Wacken Open Air *SOLD OUT*

09/07/2017    Saban Theatre - Beverly Hills, CA  USA

09/10/2017  Drum Logos - Fukuoka, JAPAN

09/12/2017  Umeda Club Quattro - Osaka, JAPAN

09/13/2017  Bottom Line - Nagoya, JAPAN

09/14/2017  Nakano Sun Plaza Hall - Tokyo, JAPAN

09/17/2017  170 Russell - Melbourne, Australia

09/26/2017  Irving Plaza - New York, NY

11/17/2017  El Teatro Flores - Buenos Aires, Argentina

11/19/2017  Sala del Museo - Montevideo, Uruguay

11/21/2017  Teatro Cariola - Santiago, Chile

11/23/2017  Sala Garcia Lorca de la Manzana de la Rivera - Asuncion, Paraguay

11/25/2017  Festival del Diablo III -  Bogata, Columbia

11/27/2017  Peppers - San Jose, Costa Rica


More on The Rise Of Chaos:

Pre-order your physical copy of The Rise Of Chaos, here:

(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:37:35 GMT

Fresh off the announcement of their forthcoming debut album, dream pop quartet Big Hush has released a mind freak of a video for their track “Cough.” Taking a deep dive in the darker realms of their bedroom rock sound, the D.C. band combines pop songwriting with the opulence of shoegaze in one technicolored soundscape. Watch the video via IMPOSE today.


“‘Cough’ is about being caught in a rut for so long that you lose touch with yourself and grow complacent about the shape of your life,” Big Hush says of the track. “The song is a plea that you could make to a friend, or yourself, to fight the easy temptation of viewing one's identity as reducible, or static. We're not as hard-wired as we think; we can always try to be better.”


Featuring members of Pygmy Lush and Flasher, Big Hush thrives in the gray area between harmony-laden melancholy, off-kilter punk, and cacophonous shoegaze. Fiercely embracing a collaborative spirit, Big Hush’s songs are imbued with the tension and tenderness requisite of intimate friendship.


Originally conceived as two separate albums, Big Hush’s debut LP, Spirit/Wholes, was recorded throughout 2014 and 2015. Chronicling a complex and gossamer aesthetic, the album’s ten tracks explore dense textures, complex arrangements and lush harmonies with a searing clarity.


Spirit/Wholes is due out via Robotic Empire on August 11. Catch Big Hush on tour this summer.



July 21 @ Hardywood (Richmond, VA)

July 22 @ Radio Shack (Raleigh, NC)

July 25 @ Neutral Grounds Coffee (New Orleans, LA)

July 26 @ Drkmttr (Nashville, TN)

July 27 @ Jan’s Room (Bloomington, IN)

July 28 @ The Comet (Cincinnati, OH)

July 29 @ Cole’s (Chicago, IL)

July 30 @ UFO Factory (Detroit, MI)

July 31 @ Happy Dog (Cleveland, OH)

August 1 @ Everybody Hits (Philadelphia, PA)

August 2 @ The ER (Boston, MA)

August 5 @ Hole In The Sky (Washington D.C.)


Spirit/Wholes Track Listing:

  1. Soft Eyes
  2. Pay To Play
  3. Say Anything
  4. Cold Shoulder
  5. Cough
  6. Walk On
  7. Wholes
  8. Honey
  9. Wrong House
(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:28:43 GMT
NEWS: Yoke Lore announces Aquilo dates & dances through LA in new video “Only You”
Yoke Lore started 2017 with a bang, playing shows alongside Wild Child & Urban Cone and making his SXSW debut. In spring, Yoke Lore joined Overcoats, Shura & The Pains of Being Pure At Heart for a slew of dates; this summer, he's playing a handful of festivals as well as supporting Brick + Mortar before heading out with Aquilo this fall on their US tour.
Yoke Lore, the new musical venture of Adrian ​Galvin, previously of Yellerkin​ and Walk the Moon​. Galvin grew up in an artistic family, his mother a director and his father an actor and sculptor. He was immersed in painting, photography, and ballet from an early age, eventually finding his first musical passion in the drums. While pursuing music, his artistry in other disciplines has not faltered, even lending his own artwork as the cover of his 2016 debut EP. Far Shore EP achieved over 4 million Spotify streams, 3 Hype Machine​ top ten singles, and songs from the EP were featured in MTV’s The Real World and Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet. Galvin’s newest EP, Goodpain, has racked up over 2 million Spotify streams in a short period of time and includes the #1 Hype Machine song “Goodpain”.
Upcoming tour dates:
7/21 San Francisco, CA // Rickshaw Stop
7/27 Buffalo, NY // The Waiting Room *
7/28 Lakewood, OH // The Foundry *
7/29 Cincinnati, OH // Woodward Theater *
8/1 Indianapolis, IN // The Hi-Fi *
8/2 St. Louis, MO // The Firebird *
8/3 Lawrence, KS // The Bottleneck *
8/4 Colorado Springs, CO // The Black Sheep *
8/5 Denver, CO // Globe Hall *
8/19-20 Jones Beach, NY // Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival
10/3 Cambridge, MA // The Sinclair ^
10/4 Philadelphia, PA // The Foundry ^
10/5 Washington, D.C. // Rock & Roll Hotel ^
10/6 Brooklyn, NY // Music Hall of Williamsburg ^
10/7 Toronto, ON // Horseshoe Tavern ^
10/9 Columbus, OH // A&R Music Bar ^
10/10 Chicago, IL // Lincoln Hall ^
10/11 Minneapolis, MN // 7th Street Entry ^
10/13 San Francisco, CA // The Chapel ^
10/16 Los Angeles, CA // El Rey Theatre ^
11/16-18 Las Vegas, NV // Emerge Music + Impact Conference
* with Brick + Mortar
^ with Aquilo​​​​​​​
find Yoke Lore:
f a c e b o o k
s o u n d c l o u d
(ToddStar Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:23:40 GMT
NEWS: Stepping Sideways Release "Path Of The Hero" Lyric Video
(July 19, 2017 - New Orleans, LA) - American rock quintet Stepping Sideways has released their new lyric video for their debut single, "Path Of The Hero" and are premiering it exclusively on New Noise Magazine.


Produced by Jonathan Dolese of Konkrete Studios, the debut single serves as a driving force in what's to come from the band's upcoming EP set to release later this year.


"We are all incredibly excited about the release of our lyric video for "Path Of The Hero". This song is about the many difficulties that we face during our life here on Earth. In dealing with these challenges we have all had moments where we have come to a crossroad and are in need of guidance. It is during that moment in time that we need to be shown the "Path Of The Hero"." - Guitarist, Joey Vasatka


Watch the lyric video for "Path Of The Hero" below. The single is available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music.


Connect with Stepping Sideways:

Facebook | Instagram

(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:42:15 GMT
NEWS: ANNA OF THE NORTH share video for latest single "Someone"
Anna of the North today share a self-directed visual for ‘Someone’, shot on location in Miami, Florida.


Of creating the video, Anna says “It’s a video made in Miami but it’s certainly not a stereotypical Miami video. The ‘party’ side to cities like Miami can feel vacuous, making them the loneliest places in the world, so it’s a fitting backdrop to the story. It’s set the day after a big night, when you instantly regret something that happened. It’s about the internal battle of the day after; trying to accept that you’re human and how hard it is to forgive yourself for your own mistakes. It gets more desperate throughout as the realisation sets in.”


The second single to be taken from their highly-anticipated debut album ‘Lovers’, ‘Someone’ journeys through a swaggering opening and a head rush of synths, which then make way for Anna’s tender vocals, before the chorus explodes into a blockbuster-scale road trip.


Today also sees the band announce a full EU tour for the Autumn whilst Friday will bring the release of Tyler, The Creator’s album Scum Fuck Flower Boy featuring vocals from Anna of the North on ‘911 / Mr Lonely’ (alongside Frank Ocean) and ‘Boredom’.


Due for worldwide release on September 8, ‘Lovers’ is an album deeply rooted in heartbreak, a subject that courses through the veins of all ten tracks – through the turmoil, the guilt and the tentative joy of finally letting yourself move on.


In three years since the release of debut single ‘Sway’, the Norwegian-Kiwi duo of Anna Lotterud and Brady Daniell-Smith have paved the way for their full-length debut following a run of singles which have notched up over 60 million streams, multiple No.1 spot’s on the Hype Machine charts and rotation on Radio 1, Triple J and Beats 1.


Now they offer up an emphatically assured debut LP, its clean, springy beats and shimmering synths underpinned by the rich, emotive clarity of Anna’s voice. Recorded in Oslo and mixed in Copenhagen and London by Luke Smith (Foals, Depeche Mode), Lovers is a coherent but endlessly varied beast.


The story of the project began five years back. Anna was working in a shop in a small town near Oslo, settled with her first love whilst anticipating a life of routine and normality, when a customer came in and changed her life. Polite and well groomed, the woman, a stranger to Anna, began making daily visits, browsing for hours but never buying a thing. One afternoon, for reasons Anna will never know, the woman approached her and implored her to abandon the traditional life she had planned out, and go and expand her horizons. The plea jolted something in Anna, and in an act of uncharacteristic spontaneity, she booked a flight to Australia, leaving behind the life and the person she thought she’d spend her life with.


Her time in Australia was fulfilling but turbulent. She fell in love again, only to have her heart broken as suddenly and inexplicably as her decision to leave Norway in the first place. That’s when she met Brady Daniell-Smith. Brady, who’d been struggling with his own complicated relationships, was performing an acoustic show in Melbourne; Anna was in the audience, drinking with friends. Becoming friends, he encouraged her to find solace in songwriting, discovering they could make music together as a way of exorcising the demons of their love lives and the project was born. He jokingly started calling her “Anna Of The North” and the name stuck.


It’s the two of them combined that make Anna Of The North’s sparse, brooding electro-pop so potent. Brady, who’s from New Zealand and grew up partly in Australia, injects elements of the countries’ bright, vibrant electronic scene to their music; Anna brings the glacial minimalism of her Scandinavian roots.


Anna of the North’s debut album Lovers is due for release on September 8 via Honeymoon / +1 Records / Different Recordings.


‘Lovers’ – Album pre-order


Live Dates:

10 Aug 2017 – Way Out West, SW

18 Aug – Pukkelpop Festival, BE

23 Aug – Hudson Ballroom – Sydney, AU

24 Aug – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, AU

26 Aug – Maroochy Music & Vis Arts Festival, AU

09 Sep – Bestival, UK

26 Sep – Omeara – London, UK

12 Oct – Obaren, Stockholm, SW

13 Oct – Vega Ideal Bar, Copenhagen, DK

14 Oct – Häkken, Hamburg, DE

16 Oct – Auster Club, Berlin, DE

18 Oct – Sugarfactory ADE Live, Amsterdam, NL19 Oct – Yuca, Cologne, DE20 Oct – Pop Up du Label, Paris, FR

09 Nov – Parkteateret – Oslo, NO

18 Nov – Room 2 P12 @ Transardentes, Brussels, BE

10 Nov – Det Akademiske Kvarter – Bergen, NO

Tickets are available from



(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:37:30 GMT
Sony Music Entertainment and legendary heavy metal band Judas Priest announced today that “Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla,” a new mobile game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is now available in the App Store.


Game download link to App Store here:


The app features stunning new visuals and gameplay set to the iconic songs “Halls of Valhalla,” “Breaking the Law”, “Turbo Lover”, “Electric Eye”, and “Painkiller” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.”


Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla innovates by making isolated song stems (eg drums, vocals, guitar) from the 2016 ‘Battle Cry’ album available to players exclusively within the game.  Using an innovative visual mechanic, players must fill “stem meters” to construct the full song and progress through each level of the game.


“When we set out to make this game, we wanted to give fans a new kind of visual listening experience” said Rob Halford, who also appears in a series of exclusive video clips throughout the game.


“For the first time, we are making individual stems of our songs available to fans to give them a new and interactive way to engage with some of the best songs from our catalog.”


Video trailer for game here:


“Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla” is a joint collaboration between Judas Priest, Sony Music Entertainment, Trinifold Management LLC UK and Babaroga, a leading mobile game studio.


“Metal maniacs are you ready to join Judas Priest on the Road To Valhalla.....? We are excited to have you take charge and lead the way on the bike and the tour bus! Let the molten metal mayhem begin with the thrill of the ride! Can you claim victory on this perilous journey that leads you into Valhalla...?”


Have a blast and enjoy!

Rob, Glenn, Richie, Ian and Scott


About Judas Priest: There are few heavy metal bands that have managed to scale the heights that Judas Priest have during their 40 year career - originally formed during the early '70s in Birmingham, England, Judas Priest is responsible for some of the genre's most influential and landmark albums (1980's 'British Steel,' 1982's 'Screaming for Vengeance,' 1990's 'Painkiller,'etc.) and for decades have been one of the greatest live bands in the entire heavy metal genre including an iconic performance at Live Aid in 1985 - they also brought metal to the masses by their appearance on American Idol in 2011 - plus Judas Priest were one of the first metal bands to exclusively wear leather and studs -  a look that began during this era and was eventually embraced by metal fans throughout the world!


And soon, the worlds of metal and gaming will collide head-on, with the groundbreaking new game, ‘Road to Valhalla’!

(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:35:15 GMT
NEWS: PROJECT .44 Tap Original KMFDM Multi-Instrumentalist EN ESCH for Remix EP, Out Today
Longtime friends PROJECT .44 and original KMFDM multi-instrumentalist En Esch have teamed up again (the first was in acting role as Esch starred in PROJECT .44's 2007 video "I") to bring a menacing new track that echoes the classic sounds of its players. What happens when you take the voice of all of those great KMFDM songs (Esch), the guitar from those legendary Ministry tunes (Svitek) and the bass from those Thrill Kill Kult dance hits (Levi)? You get "Murder Weapon" - the new track on an EP being dubbed project .44 vs. En Esch.


The EP features a studio mix of the song and three remixes: a dance floor stomper by En Eschthat harkens back to KMFDM's classic mainstay "Godlike", PROJECT .44's tribal percussion assault on the tune, and NYC's Panic Lift (Metropolis Records), giving it a chilled out, spooky vibe. The physical version also includes a remix of the track "Chicago", which will be on the band's upcoming full-length release (download here). The EP was recorded at Tribeca and Sviteknology Studios in Chicago, engineered by Louis Svitek and T. Castillo, and mastered by Wade Alin.


When asked, PROJECT .44 founder, Harri5 stated, "There was this song that just needed En Esch's voice on it, and when you hear it, you'll know why!"


Order "Murder Weapon" here via iTunesAmazon or stream via Spotify.This song is a prelude to the forthcoming PROJECT .44 album (the storm before) reform and the recently released Trash Chic (Distortion Productions) by En Esch.


In celebration of the release, PROJECT .44 will perform with 3 Teeth tonight at Reggie's Rock House in Chicago, IL. Doors are at 7:00pm and tickets are $15. The show is 17+. For more information, visit:


project .44 vs. En Esch EP line-up:

  • Chri5 Harri5: Vox, Programming, Keys
  • Louis Svitek: Guitar
  • Charles Levi: Bass
  • Ken Pillar: Drums
  • MTL: Percussion
  • En Esch: Vox, Additional Programing


About PROJECT .44: Firmly established within the niches of CMJ/New York, TOG/Austin, Gothstock/Hartford and many more live music showcases, as well as solid radio play from Chicago's Rebel Radio (hard rock/metal) and Q101 (alternative), along with numerous college stations and podcasts worldwide, PROJECT .44 has the genre melding sound that is heavy enough to be metal and different enough to be alternative. As Q101 DJ/Program Director James Van Osde put it, "it's aggressive, it's electronic's just plain good!" Hailing from the industrial/tek-metal capital of Chicago, where pioneers like Ministry paved the way for more recent grads like Static-X, PROJECT .44 continues the tradition of Chicago's knack for mixing pulverizing guitar licks with catchy dance beats. It is the forging experience that Louis Svitek (Ministry) provides when laying down the tracks that the band transfers to the stage explicitly and explosively. PROJECT .44 's 'chaotic' live show is a direct derivative of the aggressive nature of their music in which no spectator has seen before. Two hard pounding percussionists flanked by players who attack their instruments, each other and whatever else is around. Their impressive stage show has garnered them slots on tours with Thrill Kill Kult, Pigface, Lords of Acidand many more taking them all across the USA from LA to NYC and back again.


About En Esch: En Esch, born near Frankfurt / Main, has lived and worked in Hamburg, Chicago, New Orleans, NYC, Los Angeles and currently Berlin. The classically trained percussionist is best known for his distinctive vocals and charismatic stage performances. He is a skilled multi-instrumentalist, programmer and composer and has enjoyed success with KMFDM and the diverse ensemble Pigface since the early 90s. End of the 80s, En Esch and the electro-industrial outfit KMFDM moved to the US. A tour supporting the band Ministry was the starting point for their stunning career. Featuring bands like Rammstein as opening acts, KMFDM pioneered the crossover between techno/dance and heavy metal with their signature industrial sound. En Esch composed, recorded and co-produced on the first 10 albums and multiple singles of KMFDM including hits like: "More'n'Faster", "Godlike" and "Juke Joint Jezebel". En Esch & KMFDM also appear on various soundtracks of Hollywood movies like: Hideaway, Johnny Memonic, Mortal Combat, Bad Boys etc.


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(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:32:46 GMT
NEWS: Leave the Universe Announces Debut EP 'N.W.O.' with Politically-Fueled Title Track
SAN DIEGO, CA | JULY 19, 2017: San Diego's alt-rock/trap project Leave the Universe recently returned from 9 months in London, where they were writing and creating their debut EP N.W.O.With clear influences in the U.K.'s historical punk rock scene, Leave The Universe seamlessly blends alternative rock, post-punk, and electronic music, while exploring themes such as politics, insanity and love. Today, the band is thrilled to the official release date for the N.W.O. EP, set for September 1, 2017. Along with this announcement, Leave the Universe teamed up with IMPOSE Magazine to premiere the leading, title track, "N.W.O." Short for "New World Order," this song is a politically-fueled call-to-arms that was written the day after the last U.S. presidential election. Singer Cameron Cole explains: "That day I saw the perfect example of a system where the general population was like pieces being moved in an elaborate game by the powers that be for the benefit of a select few. I don't think that people realize how much power they truly have in the fact that the game masters need the the people in order to thrive. People are kept in check by a fabricated system of money. This song is meant to be a reminder that we as the people do have the power to change a flawed system if we can stand together, instead of against each other, and recognize the true enemy. We have to power to create a new world."


Best described as alt rock/trap, Leave The Universe seamlessly mixes an alternative/emo band sound with the underlying production of hiphop/trap. Lead singer Cameron Cole and guitarist Kalin Pugh spent a year building a strong core following in their home of San Diego before moving to London and forming the Dead 30 Artist collective with Austin Arthur and the rest of the members of The L.I.F.T. While in London, LTU completed their first studio EP titled N.W.O that they plan to release in September. The band explores themes of breaking barriers in subjects such as politics, isolation, mental insanity and love, from a very aggressive and external point of view.


Head to IMPOSE Magazine today to stream "N.W.O." the  debut, title track off Leave the Universe's forthcoming EP, which is to be released September 1, 2017 via Dead 30 Records. Visit for more information.


N.W.O. Track Listing:

  1. N.W.O.
  2. Paralyzed
  3. If You Find Me


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(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:30:43 GMT
NEWS: CHARLOTTE OC's new video, "Medicine Man," Features Prima Ballerina TILER PECK

July 18, 2017 (Los Angeles, CA) — The video for Charlotte OC’s “Medicine Man,” produced by philanthropist Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, premiered July 13 on Vevo and can be viewed HERE.  The video for the song, from the U.K. artist’s debut album Careless People out now on Harvest Records, features a powerful performance by Tiler Peck, the prima ballerina and principal at New York City Ballet (NYCB). The soul-baring performance was shot in a single take by cinematographer Mark Wolf, who followed Peck around the dance floor with a handheld camera. The video was exclusively debuted just last week (July 11) by Interview magazine (check it out HERE).


The moving confluence of pop music and classical ballet in the new video marks the genesis of a partnership between Allen’s Vulcan Productions and Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Steven Cantor that features classically trained ballet dancers performing to pop music.  Cantor’s credits include Dancer, Devil's Playground, What Remains and ESPN 30 – for 30 Chasing Tyson.  The video is intended to help make the art of ballet more accessible to new audiences.  Allen, a long-standing supporter of the arts, has a special interest in making the classical arts, including ballet, meaningful and relevant to younger audiences.


Peck, who is also a producer on the video, is known for taking extraordinary risks as a dancer and for her otherworldly athleticism. Born in Bakersfield, California, Peck was two years old when she began her dance training and joined NYCB as an Apprentice at age 15. She was promoted to soloist the following year and a principal by 20, making Peck one of the youngest dancers at that time to achieve this exalted position.  Working with acclaimed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, Peck uses her body as an extension of Charlotte OC's vocals, showcasing her musicality and theatrical sensibilities as a ballerina.


Written by Charlotte OC, the stripped-back “Medicine Man” captures the dizzy thrill of falling head over heels in love.  Charlotte recorded Careless People – which takes its title from a passage in The Great Gatsby – at Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Sound with producer/former Ima Robot member Tim Anderson (Solange, Youngblood Hawke, Halsey). The album’s eleven original songs include the singles "Darkest Hour" and “Shell.”   NYLON predicted, "It's only a matter of time before you get hooked on this U.K. singer and songwriter's gorgeous sound" and SPIN said she “channels the bewitching allure of Stevie Nicks and the big-throated finesse of Alicia Keys." "What sets (Charlotte OC) apart is that she hybrids her goth metaphysics with deep soul," observed Interview, while Elle declares, “Careless People combines the emotion of Joni Mitchell with the languorous magic of Lana Del Rey….(OC’s)  is the kind of vocal that soars--not in the way birds do, but rather that of jet engines….a star in the making." Charlotte, who recently made her U.S. television debut on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, has also developed a reputation as a formidable live performer, delivering highly praised performances on tour throughout the UK and Australia and in the US at SXSW and Governors Ball.  Upcoming U.S. tour dates will be announced soon.


“It was a dream to bring together these renowned talents and unite the power of their art forms,” said Vulcan Productions General Manager and Creative Director Carole Tomko. “Combining Christopher’s amazing choreography, Tiler’s stunning performance, and Steven’s masterful directing elevated the power of the song to a whole new level.  It also showed the range and beauty of classical ballet in our changing cultural landscape. With this ‘Pointe to Pop’ video, we hope to showcase the enduring relevance of classical ballet – and transform how audiences experience it.”


"The song and video are about that feeling of powerlessness you sometimes feel when you fall completely in love with someone, says Charlotte OC.   “The idea that you are almost surrendering yourself to a feeling, or a power that is greater than you and how that kind of love (although terrifying at times), can make you a better person and want to achieve great things.  Tiler captures this perfectly through her performance which is a true extension of the song and it was a fantastic experience collaborating with her.”


Said Peck, “The stars aligned when Charlotte and I were introduced; this was a dream collaboration for me. Charlotte's soul is evident in her songs and that is exactly what I hope people see when I dance; my soul, uninhibited.”


Website / Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud


About Vulcan Productions: Vulcan Productions is dedicated to the power of storytelling. We produce content and large-scale campaigns that entertain, inspire and change the way people understand the world’s toughest challenges. Our films, television series and digital content spark ideas and turn action into measurable impact. Founded by Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen, Vulcan Productions creates content across all platforms, and spotlights Mr. Allen's work in wildlife, science, climate, oceans, education, technology, current social issues, history and the arts. Our award-winning projects include The Ivory Game, Unseen Enemy, Racing ExtinctionNaledi: A Baby Elephant's Tale, Academy Award®-nominated Body Team 12Mind of a GiantWe the EconomyWe the VotersOcean Warriors#ISurvivedEbolaGirl Rising and The Blues. Upcoming releases include STEP. For information on Vulcan Productions and our leadership in generating change through impact storytelling, visit


About Stick Figure Productions: Since its formation in 1999, Stick Figure Productions has developed and produced films and series for over 40 studios, television networks and digital platforms. Founded by Oscar nominated filmmaker, Steven Cantor, Stick Figure specializes in character driven stories that take viewers on emotional journeys with their central characters. Whether profiling Amish teenagers or boxers or bail bondsmen, journalists or rock bands, Stick Figure brings its unique ability to build characters and artfully reveal tension to every project they undertake.

(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:27:43 GMT
NEWS: Dreadnought Release "A Wake In Sacred Waves" on Oct. 16

July 19, 2017, Denver – Dreadnought, the Denver-based, co-ed foursome whose sophomore album, Bridging Realms, was featured on a variety of year end lists in 2015, return with A Wake In Sacred Waves on Oct. 6 via Sailor Records. Decibel Magazine shares the first new music from the four-song, 51-minute album, streaming new song, “Within Chanting Waters” (


“Each album is loosely based on an element,” explains singer/guitar player/flautist Kelly Schilling. “Lifewoven was earth, Bridging Realms was ether, and this is our water album. You could think of them like Zelda temples. We wanted to make this a little bit darker and heavier because we were going through heavier parts of our lives. This record tells a story about the process of life and death. A sea creature evolves into an apex predator, takes over everything, and then falls from grace. It mirrors humanity’s own existential struggle.”


The band, which features drummer/saxophone player Jordan Clancy, bass player Kevin Handlon and singer/keyboard player Lauren Vieira, recorded the album at The Boar’s Nest (Salt Lake City) with SubRosa’s Andy Patterson recording and mixing the collection.


Dreadnought is currently on tour with more dates to be announced soon.

Tour dates:

July 19 - Covington, KY @ Madison Live w/ Winterhymn, Automaton

July 20 - St Louis, MO @ The Sinkhole w/ Path of Might, Dracla, Dibiase

July 29 - Denver, CO @ Moe's BBQ w/ Free Slamander Exhibit (members of Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum)


Photo credit: Travis Heacock

(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:22:51 GMT
NEWS: Vinnie Moore and Gus G Locked and Loaded for "Gunslingers" Tour 2017
Guitar wizards Vinnie Moore (UFO) and Gus G (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE) will hit the road for some shows together in November and December, 2017. This is Moore's first solo tour since 2015, and will mark the first time these two powerhouse players have toured together. The show will feature music from both guitarists' impressive catalogs.


"Gus and I met years back in Greece. I brought him up onstage to jam a couple tunes with me and we had a great energy together and had a blast. I knew that night that I would like to do some shows with him at some point. He's a very talented guitarist. Am really looking forward to some Gunslingin' with Gus"


From his first release Mind's Eye in 1987 through 2015's Aerial Visions, Vinnie Moore has set the standard for instrumental guitar albums by delivering soulful songs that feature his signature crackling guitar solos along with memorable melodic lines.


Gus comments, "Touring with Vinnie Moore is yet another dream come true for me. His album "Mind's Eye" has had a huge impact on me as I consider it somewhat as a shred guitar "bible". I spent countless hours learning his licks as a teenager. We met and got to jam few years ago and have become good buddies since. I'm looking forward to returning to the US and playing guitar for you & sharing the stage with Vinnie! See you soon!"


GUS G.'s  latest album "Brand New Revolution" was recorded with Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Steel Panther, etc.) and mixed by Mike Fraser (Metallica, AC/DC, Van Halen, Aerosmith, etc.) and featured various vocalists including Mats Leven (Candlemass), Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Jeff Scott Soto (x-Yngwie, TSO), Jacob Bunton (Alder, Lynam).


"Brand New Revolution" entered the sales charts in his native Greece at # 18, in Japan (International artists chart) at # 44, in Belgium at # 69 (Wallonia) and at # 187 (Flemish), additionally reaching the following results in the USA: #22 (New Artist), #87 (Indie Chart) and #37 (Hard Music). The album is available here:


Tour dates are as follows:

November 2017:

28  Derry, NH             Tupelo Music Hall

30  Cleveland, OH      Agora Ballroom

December 2017:

01  Detroit, MI             Token Lounge

02  Joliet. IL                The Forge

03  Milwaukee, WI      Shank Hall

06  Sellersville, PA     Sellersville Theater

07  Brooklyn, NY        St Vitus

08  Stanhope, NJ        Stanhope House

09  Somerville, MA      Once Ballroom


Visit the following for updated info:

(ToddStar Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2017 18:15:01 GMT