Interview: Josh Abbott of Fatality

We got the chance to sit down and interview Josh Abbott, singer of UK nu-metalcore band “Fatality”. We got to talk about a ton of cool stuff together and are excited for you all to check it out! After checking out the interview, make sure to go check these guys!

Fatality

Spencer Davis: “Who inspired you to become a musician?”

Josh Abbott: “Lots of people. Bands such as Slipknot, Korn, Limpbizkit, Papa Roach, Fear Factory, Machinehead. All the music we listened to growing up inspired us to do what we do today.”

SD: “How would you describe the music you create?”

JA: “I’d say catchy, modern nu-metal mixed with metal core and hip hop influences. It’s hard to describe our own music to be honest. We just make what we make and enjoy it without having to label it haha.”

SD: “Who is one artist you would love to collaborate with?”

JA: “For me personally it would be Jacoby from Papa Roach. He’s an idol of mine and someone I really look up to in the industry. It would be an absolute honour to have him collaborate with us.”

SD: “What’s your favorite album of all time?”

JA: “Take Off Your Pants And Jacket by Blink 182.”

SD: “If you could open for any artist, who would it be and why?”

JA: “Our choice would be Slipknot. I think the current music we’re making and our live energy would be a perfect opener and warm up for the HUGE show that they bring.”

SD: “Favorite concert you’ve been to?”

JA: “Mine would be the first Avenged Sevenfold show I went to on Halloween at Hammersmith Apollo. I sung along to literally every word and at the end they threw out loads of Halloween sweets for the crowd haha. I was still quite young (about 16/17) so then, the opportunity of seeing one of your favourite bands is something that will always stick in my mind.”

SD: “What are your favorite and least favorite venues?”

JA: “Camden Roundhouse has THE best sound for a venue of its size and it never fails to amaze me. On the other hand the Kentish Town Forum is the complete opposite. I’ve never been to a show there and been able to hear through the muddy, bassy noise through the PA and I refuse to go back there because it’s a waste of money seeing a band you like and not being able to hear them.”

SD: “What does your writing process look like?”

JA: “We usually just jam and riff until we have something solid. Then we structure a song around that particular hook. We’ll then record a demo and listen back, make changes and refine and re-write certain parts. Then we’ll get in the studio and record it properly.”

SD: “What is your favorite song you’ve written?”

JA: “I’d say one of our newer tracks, Juggernaut. It’s energetic, loud, and is really one that gets the crowd going.”

SD: “What’s coming up next for you guys?”

JA: “Whilst we can’t play live shows due to the pandemic we’re releasing new music every 6-8 weeks. We’re going to keep doing this until we get the go ahead to play live again. Once that happens we’ll be tirelessly booking shows up and down the country in order to bring live music back to our audiences.”

www.fatalitybanduk.co.uk

facebook.com/fatalitybanduk

@fatalitybanduk (twitter and instagram)

fatalitybanduk.bandcamp.com

Sunday Spotlight: Dayseeker

Under the spotlight this week is post-hardcore/metalcore up and comers Dayseeker. Formed in 2012 in Orange County, California. This four-piece is comprised of singer Rory Rodriguez, guitarist Gino Sgambelluri, drummer Mike Karle, and bassist Ramone Valerio. In their almost ten year run as Dayseeker, the band has released four full length albums; the first album was released in 2013, after signing with inVogue Records and was titled, “What It Means to Be Defeated” which featured work from scene legend, Joey Sturgis. Their sophomore album came in April of 2015 and was titled, “Origin”. Now their third full made it way to their quickly growing fanbases ears in the summer of 2017. Now signed to Spinefarm, they released “Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising”. Last but certainly not least, their latest album and my personal favorite of theirs, “Sleeptalk”. It was released in the latter half of 2019 and received quite a lot of praise from those that got the chance to listen to it.

From left to right: Mike Karle, Rory Rodriguez, Ramone Valerio, and Gino Sgambelluri

Dayseeker has toured with numerous bands over the past eight years and is always diligent about, keeping up with the process of an album cycle. Some of the more notable names that they have hit the road with is bands like, We Came As Romans, Wage War, The Plot In You, Ice Nine Kills, Silent Planet, and I Prevail. They have also made some notable festival appearances throughout their still young career. Some of those festivals are, South By So What?!, The Vans Warped Tour, and Ice Nine Kills’ Thanx-Killing Fest. Though they don’t have as many tours or festival appearances under their belts as some other artists, they spend a lot of that off time in the studio working on new music, which is always something respectable. Their sound has consistently developed over the years, each record has a little bit something new and intriguing for listeners.

With the release of their last album, Dayseeker has found a groove for themselves and a sound that is their own. Although, not a band that I have seen live yet, I’m going to try my hardest to catch a set of theirs in the future. With some more time spent on the road, promoting their sound and getting their name out to the crowds; I believe that Dayseeker could catch lightning in a bottle and establish themselves as a top tier band. I am really excited to see the plans that this band has for themselves and their fans for the future.

Song to check out: Sleeptalk

Review of “Hello, It’s You” by Bearings

The sophomore album from the pop-punk barrier pushers from Canada was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and it has a little bit of something for everyone. They gained popularity and a larger following of fans after touring with the likes of Set It Off, Like Pacific, Roam, and most recently, Philadelphia’s newest pride and joy Grayscale. They are quickly growing to be one of the most impressive bands in the pop-punk genre with their unbelievably catchy choruses and beautiful melodies throughout any given track. Because of these things, the awaited release of Hello, It’s You has been leaving fans and those interested in the group, chomping at the bit to hear all 30 minutes of the new album.

Album Artwork

While incorporating many different aspects from their first album Blue In The Dark, there are just so many new and exciting layers to the music these guys have put out. Their first album laid the foundation for where they wanted to head creatively, and the new album has taken them ten steps in that direction. Which, I believe is the right direction for these guys. There are so many things that make this album truly an experience to listen to. The first track I want to highlight is ‘Sway’, this is a buttery smooth, and groovy track that will no doubt, get a crowd to move around. Next, ‘Super Deluxe’ has some subtle 80’s influence that I think makes it stand out from the other songs and has potential to be a fan favorite. Another thing that Bearings does really well is songs with acoustic guitar driving the tune, this album is a perfect example with the pop dream song, ‘Lovely Lovely’. For all the pop-punk elitist kids out there, don’t worry there is something for you too. The last track, ‘Transient Colours’ should appease the taste of those pop-punk elitist kids. The last song I want to highlight and spend a little time talking about is the unexpected song, ‘Dreams’. This track is just over two minutes of the ever-popular genre ‘Emo Rap’. Listening through the album for the first time, the last thing I was thinking that would show up would be an ‘Emo Rap’ song. But dare I say, they did it well and left me wanting to hear more of the same sound? Now, I don’t think this was them testing the waters to change their style entirely but instead to see how listeners would react and give them the nod to try more things like it.

I personally love this album and believes the guys hit it out of the park with this as their sophomore release. The overall sound of this record is exactly what I was hoping it would sound like. The singles they released before the entire album left me a good indication of what we would be getting but, did not give it all away. I’m hoping this record will get Bearings some serious attention and recognition for the work these boys put in.

Rating: 8/10

Sunday Spotlight: State Champs

This week our spotlight is on pop punk heavyweights State Champs. Formed out of Albany, New York in the spring of 2010, the four piece has had a long and successful career in the pop punk scene becoming one of the bands that comes to the mind of people when asked, “whose your favorite pop punk band”. The founding members of the band are vocalist, Derek DiScanio and lead guitarist, Tyler Szalkowski; while drummer Evan Ambrosio and bassist Ryan Scott Graham would join later on. The band is said to have been influenced by bands like,  The Starting Line, Blink-182, Sum 41, Fall Out Boy, and Green Day.The group has established themselves as one of the bigger bands of the recent years in pop punk due to their popular releases and time spent on the road over the past ten years.

From left to right: Evan Ambrosio (drums), Ryan Scott Graham (bass), Tyler Szalkowski (lead guitar), and Derek DiScanio (vocals)

The New Yorkers have played alongside and supported some really important artists in the scene. Some of these bands are, The Wonder Years, New Found Glory, Neck Deep All Time Low, A Day To Remember, Parkway Drive, and 5 Seconds of Summer. Along with countless festival performances at festivals such as, Slam Dunk, Sad Summer, The Vans Warped Tour, Four Chord Music Fest, Tooth Fest, Self-Help Fest, and the massive Download Fest playing on the same stage as Beartooth, Dream Theater, and freaking Slayer. The band has released three LP’s and five EP’s over the past ten years. Their debut full length, “The Finer Things” came along with a lot of praise and recognition which propelled the band into scene stardom, their next two full lengths, “Around the World and Back” and “Living Proof” did not receive quite the same reaction as “The Finer Things” did but the overall reaction was still positive.

I have had the pleasure of seeing State Champs twice since last year and have been nothing but blown away each time. I saw them the first time on their Living Proof, North American headlining run being supported by Grayscale, The Dangerous Summer, and Our Last Night. The second time was at Sad Summer Festival in Columbus, Ohio at Express Live alongside Mayday Parade, The Wonder Years, and The Maine among others. As a band, these guys are super tight and always put on an energetic set that leaves fans going home with a smile, sweaty clothes, great stories, and some awesome merch. Their music has always translated so well from recording to performing live. They also all seem like super cool and wholesome guys. I was able to meet Derek and Ryan at Sad Summer and they were two of the nicest guys I have ever met. They even took a video saying hello to one of my friends that was not able to make it to Sad Summer that year. I cannot wait to see these guys again, they would be a fantastic first show when shows come back.

Song to check out: Elevated

A Day To Remember Announces Release Date for New Album, “You’re Welcome”

After months and months of waiting, A Day To Remember have announced their newest album entitled “You’re Welcome”. Fans of the easy-core pioneers have been waiting for the album to be announced since late 2019, and after all this time, we’ve got to wait just a few more months. The upcoming full length will be their eighth album release in their seventeen years as a band is set to release March 5th, 2021. As well as announcing the upcoming record, they also released the opening track of the album titled, “Brick Wall”. The album opener has a bit of a different sound that we aren’t used to in the verses but brings a familiar sound in the choruses and the breakdown. From the singles that have been released so far, we can expect to see somewhat of a diverse album with pop punk, easy-core, and metalcore influences that the Ocala boys are known for.

Album Artwork

Their last album “Bad Vibrations” came with a lack luster response from fans. “You’re Welcome” should hopefully be a bit of a bounce back from their last album. By the sounds of the title I think ADTR is trying to say, “we hear you guys and we’re going to give you what you want this time”. I think this would be a good move for this new era of the band. Now, this isn’t saying they need to take this route every album they put out from now on. Artists need to do what makes them happy, if A Day To Remember wanted to release a country album because it would make them happy then, they should do it. But tossing both new and old fans the occasional bone is always a strong move in the industry and especially in this scene.

There is a reason that A Day To Remember has been around for quite awhile now, they are innovative, unique, and pump out instant classics like no other. We can hope to get some of those classics with the next record. Now, one of the biggest hard rock bands in the world, bagging some high card festival slots, being probably the only band in history that easily can tour opening for Blink-182 and Slipknot, and gaining fans of all ages. We should expect this new album and era of A Day To Remember to be something to remember. Developing and evolving their sound while staying true to their roots is the formula that these guys have perfected, let’s just hope they continue on with that formula.

Sonic Temple 2021 Lineup Analysis

The unofficial lineup for Sonic Temple Festival 2021 lineup has been released to the public. Still taking place in Mapfre Stadium in Columbus Ohio, the lineup has been out for sometime as this lineup was supposed to be the lineup for 2020 but due to the ongoing global nightmare it was canceled but fans were told that mostly all of the lineup will be the same. That answer to the fans raised questions as to whether or not the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tool will still be performing as they took the spot for Metallica who had to back out of the Friday and Sunday slots. Even with some potential changes in the lineup this festival will still be unbelievable from the looks of it.

Sonic Temple Festival Poster

          Let’s take a look at each day and some of the highlights that fans will get to check out. Friday one of the most hyped bands of recent we see on the Wave stage is the Ukranian metal band Jinjer who’s careers took after the insane media attention for their vocalist Maksym Fatullaiev for her unbelievable low vocal growls. On the Echo stage the artist I am most excited to see there is Ghostemane, his unique style and genre morphing songs will bring something new to the Midwest festival. Now, the main stage is chalk full of heavy hitters from beginning to end. Dirty Honey has become a fan favorite since last year, Sleeping With Sirens are veterans of the scene and Kellin Quinn’s higher pitched vocals give them an interesting sound, Anthrax is one of the big four of thrash metal and that’s basically all that needs to be said about them, Royal Blood is one of the biggest rock bands to come out of England in the last decade, Bring Me The Horizon is quite possibly the most popular rock band in the world at this moment gaining rapid popularity in mainstream music over the past five years, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have and always will be a household name when talking about some of the greatest alternative music of all time.

          Saturday is consistently amazing throughout the day, on the Wave stage we see Knocked Loose headlining which is great for those fans of hardcore who want to see it brought back to the forefront of heavy music. On the Echo stage two of the bands that I think will be great are of course everyone’s favorite, Ice Nine Kills, the horror movie themed metal band taking mainstream rock and alternative radio by storm and hip hop rock legends Cypress Hill which the fans will go “insane” for. The top four slots of the main stage are the highlight there with rock veterans Alter Bridge lead into our ears by Myles Kennedy and guitar great, Mark Tremonti, Staind makes there return to touring just a few months ago and have been tossed on the main stage for tons of festivals, Evanesence has some killer live performances that show their tightness as a group, and Slipknot is this generations Metallica, veterans of festivals and touring these titans are going to put on a set no one wants to end.

          Sunday is usually the more relaxed day for festival goers and this festival is no different which I believe is always a good thing. On the Wave stage we have Mongolian metal up and comers The Hu, and Code Orange who gained popularity through their work with Corey Taylor will be headlining that stage. On the Echo stage fan favorites, Dropkick Murphy’s are sub-headlining with punk rock legends Rancid holding down that headlining slot which I think will be a fantastic set. On the main stage, Dance Gavin Dance a favorite scene band for many holds an early slot in the day, Taylor Momsen’s The Pretty Reckless is a crowd favorite as of the past few years holds an evening slot, and finally either a hit or miss with festival goers, Tool is holding that headliner position and will put on a more low key set to send everyone home.

Sunday Spotlight: Northlane

This week we are putting Australian metalcore heavyweights Northlane in the spotlight. Formed in Sydney in 2009, the band consists of guitarists Jon Deiley and Josh Smith, drummer Nic Pettersen, bassist Brendon Padjasek and vocalist Marcus Bridge. As of August 2nd, 2019 Northlane has released five full length albums which have all been released under UNFD and Rise Records as well as two extended play releases. The five piece was sort of trapped within the typical early 2010’s metalcore bubble up until the release of their 2019 full length album titled “Alien”. With this record they introduced elements and influence of nu-metal into their songs. This style is becoming more popular within metalcore and for good reason, this combination is killer and as a metalcore fan exactly what I want to hear from my favorite bands. This is not to say their previous work wasn’t good or interesting, there was influences of progressive metal and alternative metal while still having that often used metalcore sound. All of their releases have something unique to them and that has attracted quite a lot of people over the more than eleven years of their time as a band.

From left to right: Jon Deiley, Josh Smith, Marcus Bridge, Brendon Padjasek, Nic Pettersen

              With eleven years under their belt they obviously have done a lot of touring in their time. They have played alongside some really big bands opening for the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, August Burns Red, Parkway Drive, and Architects. The Aussies have also appeared at some huge festivals across the world such as, Slam Dunk, Good Things, Unify The Gathering, Hell Fest, and Download. So, these guys are not newcomers to the metal world, and their tightness as a band shows. I have watched a lot of live performances on the internet from many different stages of the Northlane and they have certainly grown over the years that is for sure. Through member changes, sound changes, and growth in popularity as a band, Northlane has found themselves a pocket of amazing creativity and musicianship. They need to take what they have right now and run with it without stopping no matter what comes up in their way.

              I believe the future holds great things for this group. As metalcore is developing its sound, Northlane is one of the bands that I believe should be at the forefront to represent metalcore to those that might not listen to it. This one of the bands that I believe has lightning in a bottle and will release it at the perfect time. If “Alien” is any sort of indication to the direction their sound is headed, every other metalcore band ought to grab tight onto their coattails. They’ve got a sick mind for riffs, awesome melodies and hooks in their songs, Marcus Bridge is one of the most consistent vocalists I have heard in metalcore since Sam Carter of Architects, and they have some of the most underrated breakdowns in metalcore today. Every album is one I could listen to back to front and it does not feel like a chore. I have not gotten the chance to see Northlane live in person but they are one of the bands I want to see as soon as I can once concerts start happening again.

Song to check out: Dispossesion

Sad Summer Festival 2021 Analysis

Sad Summer Fest has announced their official lineup for the rescheduled 2021 dates of the sophomore year North American run. They have not announced special guest artists for the dates yet because of the rescheduling but every announced artist has agreed to play the new dates. This year features an almost entirely new lineup aside from returners and coordinators The Maine. Bands this year also include All Time Low, The Story So Far, Movements, Grayscale, Yours Truly, and Destroy Boys. It was also revealed that this year their will be varying set times which is different from last year. The Story So Far and All Time Low will be playing longer sets as they are billed as headliners. This is going to provide those attending with a less Warped Tour experience which is what I believe they are going for this year after all the success they had last year.

Poster for Sad Summer Festival 2021

Another new development for them this year is the announcement of VIP tickets that are available for purchase whereas last year they just had one ticket option. Regular GA tickets are priced at $35 plus fees of course and that just includes entry to the festival. The Funhouse VIP ticket includes first entry into the festival, VIP viewing area, private bar, a Sad Summer signature cocktail menu, and a Sad Summer Fest “commemorative” laminate. We can see the growth from last year to this coming year of Sad Summer has been quite exponential due to the bigger names on the lineup, VIP options for ticketing, and the festival being presented by none other than the scenes biggest support Journeys. There is of course going to be photo opportunities like last year and other things that will be unique to each date of the tour. This of course, is a good sign for the fans of the festival because it shows us that this festival is not just here to come and go, they want this thing to stick around for a while.

The idea that there is going to be two headliners that are on opposite ends of the pop punk spectrum is going to be interesting, you have The Story So Far who are on the edgier, more aggressive side of pop punk that has a very passionate fanbase; and you have All Time Low who are on the more neon pop punk side that basically everyone is somewhat a fan of. I would be hard-pressed to find someone going to this festival that does not have a single All Time Low song that they enjoy. The rest of the bands are all really solid, another interesting choice for the festival this year is Movements who will make this festival open up some serious mosh pits to get everyone warmed up for the damage that The Story So Far is going to cause. The Maine is essentially going to be for All Time Low what Movements will be for The Story So Far. This is going to create a healthier variety of artists for fans of both styles. I believe that this coming year of Sad Summer is going to far and away exceed the previous year simply because this no longer just a DIY tour, they have bigger names, more sponsors, different ticketing options, and different formatting set times. Everyone should take a trip to the nearest venue to them that is hosting a Sad Summer date and go have a blast.

Sad Summer Festival 2019 Experience

In the summer of 2019 in wake of the end of the Vans Warped Tour, this event was a touring festival going across the US, hoping to give a similar vibe for pop punk loving kids that were missing Warped Tour, and was organized by the scene veterans in The Maine. There were mainstay artists for the whole tour as well as some special guests playing select dates. Some notable special guests for the tour were, The Wonder Years, Four Year Strong, Forever The Sickest Kids, Set It Off, Every Avenue, and Jetty Bones. The artists that played every date of the festival were, The Maine, State Champs, Mayday Parade, Mom Jeans, Stand Atlantic, and Just Friends. All of these bands would not surprise us to see them on the Journeys Left or Right Foot stage at any given Warped Tour date.

Sad Summer Festival Announces The Maine, Mayday Parade, State Champs & More  - News - Rock Sound Magazine
Poster for Sad Summer Festival 2019

One super cool thing they did at each date was free meet and greets with the bands, I know at the date I attended that was one thing I was really excited for. I went with my sister and we got to meet The Maine while we were waiting outside the venue, as soon as we got inside we ran right to the Mayday Parade tent to meet the band and they were so kind to us, lastly we hopped in line and got to meet Derek and Ryan from State Champs who were the coolest guys ever. Doing free meet and greets with so many fans every day on the tour can really tire out these guys and I’m sure it did, but they were so happy and cheerful to do it and of course us fans were truly grateful. They also had super cool photo opportunities with awesome banners with lyrics from some of the bands on them, a human sized toy packaging for us to get photos inside of. The color theme of the festival was pink and that made for some really cool merch and photo opportunities again. There were awesome, local food trucks there and of course free water bottle filling stations for the festival goers which I made various trips to throughout the day because it was 100 degrees and 85% humidity. The heat didn’t stop fans from having the time of their lives watching these awesome bands crush their sets at Express Live.

The set times for the bands were right around 35 minutes each because of the number of bands to perform each day which was even more so reminding of how Warped Tour was. Everyday the order of bands was changed with who plays when, although the bigger names always played in the second half of the day since there was only one stage whereas Warped Tour had about 30 different stages it felt like. This was the last of three festivals I went to that summer and I could not have enjoyed myself more, so much music from bands I love and even some bands I didn’t know before but know now. Stand Atlantic was the one band that caught my attention the most, their songs are so upbeat and catchy, and their frontwoman Bonnie Fraser has a distinct tone and grit to her voice that is unmistakable. Overall, it has been one of my favorite festivals and cannot wait to go again. They already announced the lineup for the rescheduled Sad Summer 2021 festival and there will be an analysis for that lineup coming soon so, keep an eye out for that!

Sunday Spotlight: The Story So Far

Formed in 2007 in the town of Walnut Creek, California, The Story So Far has become one of the biggest pop punk bands in history and is considered by some to be the greatest of all time in the genre. This five piece consists of members, Ryan Torf (drums), Kevin Geyer (lead guitar), Will Levy (rhythm guitar), Kelen Capener (bass), and Parker Cannon (vocals). The group has released four full length albums, “Under Soil and Dirt”, “What You Don’t See”, “The Story So Far”, and their latest which was released in late 2017. Each one of these albums has something different to add to their repertoire of gut checking pop punk. “Under Soil and Dirt” is considered to be one of the best pop punk albums of all time and is widely known as their best record. “What You Don’t See” was and always will be the perfect sophomore release for a pop punk band such as The Story So Far. Their self-titled album is definitely not their best work and most people will agree with that statement, but this is by no means a bad album. I don’t believe they have released an album that isn’t good. “Proper Dose” has so far been the least heavy of all their albums which I believe is a really good thing, they really showed their skills in diversity and that they could write and release hits much different from their previous releases.

From left to right: Kelen Capener, Parker Cannon, Kevin Geyer, Ryan Torf, and Will Levy.

              The California rockers made a name for themselves in their early stages with having a bit of an edgier side to pop punk which was not all that popular until around 2010. Because of bands like themselves, Knuckle Puck, The Wonder Years, and Neck Deep. The genre of pop punk started to become really popular again and was considered to be mainstream music until somewhere around 2013. The Story So Far has in my opinion been the biggest influence on the popularity in pop punk. Parker Cannon has a knack for writing some amazing lyrics that are angsty, deep, aggressive, and relatable. The rest of the band play so tightly together it all just works out beautifully. The guys aren’t ones for jumping or dancing around on stage while they are playing all that much but if you look out in the crowd while they are playing you’ll see it by every single person in the room. They have something special that makes them their own and puts them on another level above other bands.

              Up until 2018 I had always heard of them but, never really tried listening to them. Until I finally gave in because a close friend of mine is obsessed with them and always pushed for me to listen because, she knew I would love them. Soon after that I was hooked, enthralled, and obsessed with everything about them. I got the opportunity to see them live in November of 2019 at the Van Buren in Phoenix, Arizona. I knew they were going to be good and I knew the crowd was going to be intense but, I truly underestimated just how good they were going to be and how much fun the show as going to be. It was far and away my favorite club show I went to in 2019 and I am dying to see them again. And would recommend anyone that is physically able, to go see these active legends as soon as possible.

Song to listen to: Things I Can’t Change