April 29th, marked day one of the fifth annual Fort Rock festival here in Fort Myers, FL. It also marked day one of Welcome To Rockville, and together these two massive festivals kicked off what I like to call, festival season. Several others are set to occur in the coming weeks and months such as Carolina Rebellion, the iconic Rock On The Range, Rocklahoma, Rock USA, Northern Invasion, and so many others.
I'm hopeful that all of those go very well for those who attend, and by far exceed my experience at Fort Rock 2017. As some of you may be aware, this was my third year in a row covering Fort Rock. I've only missed one year at all, and that was Fort Rock 2014. Every single year something has gone wrong on my end of things, and usually it's just interviews getting jumbled or the press company having some disorganization and misplacing my passes. Something like that. Something that in the end is easy to get past, but in the moment completely ruins my mood and causes a great deal of stress.
This year however, apparently things were going a little too well. We got to the venue during Motionless In White's set, and got in the line to get my tickets and passes for the weekend. There was a nice breeze, and the guy up at the media tent actually remembered me from last year, which made getting my pass easier than any other year. Aside from the fact that it sounded like whoever was running the soundboard was sleeping on the job, things were looking very promising.
We get inside, and I was just a little too late to cover Nothing More, so we decided to explore for a little bit. We first took a look at the merch, and was sadly disappointed. For the first time ever, I was not impressed with the merch at all. I actually only bought one thing out of the entire weekend, and that was an I Prevail shirt on day two. I posted a picture of it over on the Facebook page, if anyone is interested in seeing it or any other merch I have for that matter.
After that we headed over to the FYE tent, because FYE sponsors the event and sells records and CDs. They also have artists, both big and small, come do signings, which was our main reason for looking. Now, ironically, something had been telling me we needed to go to the festival earlier than we did, but due to the heat and not actively knowing why this feeling was there, we did not go. Come to find out, that was because Papa Roach did a signing that had just finished about twenty minutes before we got inside. They were probably still signing things when we were getting my pass.
So as a big fan of Papa Roach, that was disappointing, but there will always be another chance in the future. By the time we got done in there, it was just about time to go cover the first band of the day: In This Moment.
I had a couple discoveries with them, and I was quite happy with them. For starters, they were extremely smart with the way they had the media enter this year. They set up the barricades in such a way that gave us our very own walk way. This sounds extremely minor, but it actually was extremely helpful. In past years, we were either given nothing and had to fight our way through the crowd, to get all the way up to the barricade or go through the VIP section. Both tended to have similar results -an argument with someone who didn't want to move or didn't think you belonged.
So realizing that they actually thought ahead and gave us our own way in was fantastic! Then there was the experience of covering In This Moment. They are honestly a photographer's dream! If you've seen In This Moment, in person or even just in photos, you've seen that they all have a certain aesthetic to them that's very unique, and at times appeared to be inspired by the movie Silent Hill. Not only is that awesome, in person and on camera, but I also discovered very quickly that none of the members of the band, aside from the drummer move very much. I don't know how those watching the performance felt about that, but as a photographer that is constantly trying to capture a moving target, I much appreciated it.
I've never had an easier time getting glamorous shots in my life, and I had an absolute ball doing so. It set a great tone for the day -I was sure things were just going to go fantastic.
I also had a slightly alarming moment, before realizing what I was looking at. As you can see in the pictures below, they had back up, what I'm going to call 'dancers' on the stage. While I loved their outfits, and over all look, at a glance, it looked like they were completely nude under the outfits. I had a brief moment of questioning if I was looking up at someone's private parts, but quickly realized they, and Maria alike, all had on skin colored leotards underneath. That gave me a good laugh, because I was shocked for a second.
After In This Moment was Of Mice And Men, who I actually have wanted and tried to cover for several years now. Surely by now most of you are aware that Austin Carlile, the band's frontman and screamer, departed from the band mostly for health reasons a few months ago, so all the songs were done by Aaron Pauley instead. I've never been a massive fan of Of Mice And Men, I will admit. They've had a handful of songs I've liked over the years, but unfortunately, I must say I was not overly impressed with their performance.
There's no particular reason for that, they just....didn't stand out to me. Only things I really want to say is I enjoyed hearing my favorite song from them, "Would You Still Be There" and their brand new song, "Unbreakable." But other than that, nothing stood out to me, which sadly says a lot as those were two of the three songs I photographed.
Alter Bridge followed them, and it was basically the same thing to me. I had fun taking pictures, but aside from a song or two that was played while I was photographing, I wasn't overly interested in their performance.
Just after Alter Bridge came Three Days Grace. I don't have a ton to say about them, except I actually was more impressed with them then I expected. I've talked about how I feel about modern Three Days Grace in previous posts through out the website, and let's just say the last time I saw Three Days Grace as they are now did not go over nicely. So I actually opted out of covering their performance, but I did pay a great deal of attention to them. I covered most of what I have to say about them in the vlog, so please click here to watch it. I did not actually take pictures of their performance, but got plenty of footage during their set.
Unfortunately, here is where things started to drastically go down hill for me. Just as the bands that fully had my attention got on stage too -just my luck, right? Seether came on, and this was actually my third time seeing them, and second time covering them. I must say, I was highly impressed with not only their performance, but the pictures I got. The last time I saw them was at the Hard Rock in Orlando, FL in January 2015 and the venue was working against all of the photographers with the lighting so most of pictures from their performance were not fantastic.
This time however, I did get many good pictures, and greatly enjoyed that they played, "Nobody Praying For Me." They did that as their second song, and I was very happy about that because I do greatly enjoy the song, and they did not play it before. However, this is exactly when things fell apart.
Two crowd surfers got over the barricade and stopped walking right next to me. They asked the security guard with the hose if he could spray them real quick, I saw him shrug out of the corner of my eye, and then all the sudden was sprayed with water. It got all over me, my camera and the camera of the guy next to me. I quickly borrowed a towel of another photographer to dry it off, and went back to taking pictures. I assumed there was no harm done.
Then I went and sat down, just to watch the rest of Seether and was messing with my camera, just to check on it. I then realized it was freezing when I zoomed out, or tried to take a picture. The on / off button was doing nothing, and none of the other buttons were responding. So I popped the battery thing open, and the camera restarted itself. I did this a few times, and the problem appeared to go away. So while this was a new problem I had never experienced before, I tried to brush it off.
It was soon time for my favorite act of the night, Papa Roach. I go up there to cover their set, and my camera refuses to cooporate. I would take one picture, and it would freeze, and I would have to pop the battery chamber open in order to take another picture. This whole process wasted a good ten seconds each time, I would say. Which when you only have three songs to get as many pictures as you possibly can -that's a lot of wasted time. I had to give up about half way "To Be Loved" which was the first song, and I fully admit, I was heart broken.
Not only was I greatly looking forward to covering Papa Roach, but now my camera was also broken. My camera has been one of my prized posessions, and something I worked hard to get. Not to mention, cameras are extremely expensive, especially when you work at a minimum wage job. Plus not being able to cover the band I was most excited for, when I had every right to, was also very upsetting.
I recorded a lot during their set, but my mind the entire time was running a mile a minute, all regarding my camera. I texted my mother, who I am very close with, to tell her what happened, and to confirm that she was going to come get us after Papa Roach was done as originally planned. Rightfully so, she was also infuriated about my camera, and decided to come down to the venue anyways.
Now, take this as you will, but somehow, after hearing about what was going on, the security at the front gate allowed my mother into the venue so she could help me find the head of security. She had absolutely no ticket, or pass of any kind, and told them that. She also had her purse, which they did not look in at all. Since she is a good person, this is fine, but for safety reasons, it actually would have made perfect sense for them to not allow her in or if nothing else, at least check her bag.
The security guard we talked to though ended up being absolutely incredible, and told us a lot of information while trying her best to help us out. I wish I would have gotten her name, because I greatly appreciated her attitude and assistance. She was guarding the entrance for the VIP section, and my mother went straight to her, I found her soon after. She asked for every detail of what happened, and was furious for me. I even showed her what it was doing, and after that, she asked her supervisor if she could walk away from her post to help us find the head of security, Darnyll and JR.
They tried calling JR's cell phone several times, he never answered, and he was no where to be found. We ran all over the place, including up in front of the barricade to talk to other security guards, and toward the behind the scenes area. Nobody could find who we were looking for, and he still wasn't answering. Word was now spreading among the security, and most were upset for me, and almost all were saying they were sorry and it would probably come out of the guy's paycheck.
After searching for a good while, the security lady said we were welcome to sit down in the VIP section, and hang out while they waited for some information. By now Chevelle was on stage, and I was trying to focus on their set, not everything that was going through my head. It didn't work, and I sadly was not very impressed with the way Chevelle sounded, though I did recognize more songs than I expected to.
We unfortunately had no luck and were asked to come back to talk to JR and Daryll at 8:30 the next morning. I've worked with this company before, which is DAK but thanks ot this experience, I learned a lot about how the company is run.
Almost all of the guards themselves were very nice, helpful, and took their jobs very seriously. Which is impressive, fantastic, and highly appreciated. Almost everyone I spoke to had the right attitude regarding everyone's safety, and happiness. The girl that was helping us though also told us how they are treated, and frankly, if all security companies treat their guards like this, all of them need way more respect.
As we were waiting with her, she told us that they were from Miami, FL, which is about three hours from here, and were expected to stand in the same spot for sixteen hours without food, smoke breaks, or even a chance to sit down. They even had to be descreet about their water bottles, all for $100 a day. That breaks down to being less than minimum wage here in Florida, and they were expected to do it two days straight. I don't remember what time she told me they got there, but they had to be up and ready to be at the venue by 8:30 on day one, and would stay both days til 11:45pm. They were even told specific rules for while they were at their hotel, like they weren't allowed to smoke at all on the premise.
So honestly, next time you see a security guard being unfair, or just coming across as judgemental or moody, cut them some slack. They're dealing with a lot, and are probably more exhausted than most of the people they're trying to protect.
The staff was fantastic, as I already said, despite everything they're dealing with. However, at least in my experience, their boss was the exact opposite.
We did go meet with them at 8:30 the next morning, and they were both rude, and disrespectful. Neither of them daned to introduce themselves, though we knew who it was thanks to the description we were given. He barely even looked at me, and he was rather condescending. He told me that it was my problem, not theirs, and when he heard how long I've been doing this he just clicked his tongue and says, "Well that's not a very long time, I've been doing this for 30 years."
I instantly responded with, "Well I'm only 24, so yes it is a long time."
He also tried to tell me that it was in the wavers I signed when I got my passes that they weren't responsible for me or my equipment. I looked, he was dead wrong. Everything I signed, was actually stating that Monster Energy and the PR company had rights to my images, and I was not allowed to sell anything. None of it stated anything about bodily or equipment harm.
He barely even apologized, and this was after he basically just shut me down. It was very clearly a back thought that was rather empty. "I'm sorry that happened to you, but what would you rather us do? Save people's lives or your camera?"
I told him both because I do agree that spraying people with a hose is a good idea. It keeps people cool, and had I been out in the crowd and this happened, I probably wouldn't have been having that conversation with him. But they're not supposed to spray people in front of the barricade, they're supposed to spray the crowd. I would have even understood this had they pulled someone unconscious or just barely conscious out and had them laying on the ground and sprayed them. But these two girls were fine! They were smiling and laughing, they just wanted a quick cool down.
He should have thought about it before he did it, because not only was he extremely close to my camera, but another photographer's and several speakers. There was thousands upon thousands of dollars of equipment that close to us, and if it had been a speaker or something, that could be highly dangerous.
All in all, I was very disappointed with this year. The security was great, but they're working for a terrible company, and have a very rude boss. The lineup, aside from a handful of bands, in my opinion was a let down, and the fact that I now have to replace my camera due to someone else's lack of thought, completely ruined the experience.
I'll tell you one thing though, for the first time ever I went to a show without my camera. Given, it was under terrible circumstances, but on some level, it was very refreshing. We came back to Fort Rock later that day to watch I Prevail, who as you may know, I've been greatly enjoying lately. Some videos I found on YouTube had me questioning if they were going to live up to their records live, but they exceeded my expectations. They made up for the day before, and I honestly really enjoyed their set. They played two of my favorites by them, "Scars" and "Rise", both of which I got on video and they were definitely entertaining to watch. Their frontman, Bryan was all over the stage and seemed to be having a ball just goofing around as he sang. I look forward to seeing I Prevail again, hopefully when I'm in a much better mood.
Fort Rock 2017, you disappointed me greatly. Something goes wrong every year, I expected that, but this took the cake. Hopefully 2018 will go over much better, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it a year from now.
If you are interested in seeing any of the content from this year, please head on over to the page to see all of the pictures, and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Over there you will see the vlog, which is already up and several songs, which will be slowly uploaded over the next week.
If you went -how did it go for you? I would love to hear anyone's stories and see any pictures or videos you may have. Feel free to share with me in the comments here, or over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Yesterday Seether announced their seventh studio album, Poison The Parish and released a new song to go with it! The song is called "Let You Down", and if you would like information on the album, please click here. I already wrote about it and gave you all the information, including the track listing, pre-order information, and the album cover.
Due to work, I was actually unable to sit down and watch the new music video, but I heard it was rather creepy, and definitely dark. Which is not abnormal for Seether, as most know. The last couple albums have been a little more lighthearted for them, but they've never lost their meanings. Hearing about the subject matter of the song, and the content of the video from a very reliable source, it made me curious. And I decided I didn't want to watch it without giving you guys my feedback.
So, before I continue, I'm going to give the very obvious spoiler alert. If you're reading this, and have not heard, "Let You Down" yet, please do not read further until you listen to it. I don't want to ruin it for you, so I have put the video below -as you can very clearly see.
They definitely were having fun with the dark elements here....a small man in a bunny suit, with blacked out eyes, coffins in an abandoned area, the black and white. They embraced their inner dark side clearly.
I'm liking the sound, its Seether with a refreshed feeling, and its definitely a very deep song. I can't help but wonder what inspired the song directly. Its very clearly about assisted suicide, which is said during the song. Its spoken in favor of assisted suicide, which is actually rather surprising, due to the fact that his brother committed suicide several years back.
I also wonder what it was like on the set of the music video, with all the people in costumes to make them look dead. Surely it was way less disturbing in person than it is in the black and white video.
This definitely leaves me curious for what all the album is going to feature, and honestly wonder if they may be about to release some of their best work yet. We all will just have to see, won't we?
Evey year, usually right around this time of year, I do the Immortal Music Awards. Generally, the planning for it starts in July, and then from October to the middle to end of December I ask you guys to vote on your favorites for the year.
Well, this year, things are going to be a bit different. After doing all I did for Fort Rock, changing jobs, and having a lot of life thrown at me, I completely forgot to do the planning. Which means I had nothing to back it up. I thought I could sort of quickly throw something together and get you guys to vote, but I wasn't sure if it would even work. With the luck I've had with social media in the last year or so, I wasn't sure if people would see anything. I tried to ask on Facebook if you guys wanted me to even bother, and surprisingly did get some answers.
They were pretty positive, and surprisingly on my level. That level was wanting to, but not being postive if it would work. So we came to the conclusion as a group to skip the 2016 Immortal Music Awards. However, I didn't feel right skipping them entirely. The first year I did them -in 2011!- I didn't ask for anyone's input. Just made up 'awards' based on my own thoughts.
While getting all of your input is way more fun, like I said -I couldn't just leave it alone. So, this is what we're getting this year. Next year, I promise to do it properly again. With the planning, and the voting and then the final proper reveal. I promise I won't drop the ball next year....or at least, I promise to try to not let it fall through the cracks. I'm sorry I did this year. It was a pretty massive year, some of which I will explain when I do the 2016 recap.
Anyways, without further adue, let's get into the best of 2016 (in my opinion, of course!) Please feel free to answer with your own awards! I would love to see who you think is the best.
Every year, I ask a few questions, and they mostly look forward to the coming year. I wanted to get those out of the way first before I get into the categories.
⦁ Who would you like to see release more content in 2017?
⦁ Who would you like to see tour more in 2017?
⦁ Which album are you most excited about for 2017?
⦁ What was your best moment from 2016?
I would like to see more content from All Time Low, Bring Me The Horizon, Saint Asonia, and Shinedown. The only one that I really think will release an album in 2017 is Saint Asonia, and that's only because I know they've been writing new music. I just would like more content from All Time Low, BMTH and Shinedown, but I'm not really expecting too much. Though I vaguely remember something about BMTH writing new music already? That's The Spirit is only a little over a year old, and is doing fantastic, but if the creative juices are flowing, then its possible! I could be completely wrong on hearing that though.
As for the touring, I would really like to see All Time Low tour more, as well as Art of Dying -as its been 5 years since I last saw them! They haven't come to Florida in five years -do they not realize that's too long? Also on my list is Falling In Reverse, Papa Roach, Asking Alexandria or We Are Harlot. And I wouldn't mind seeing Neck Deep come around a bit more either. I'm pretty much open to anyone touring more.
For the albums I'm really excited about, at the top of my list is Papa Roach's new one! I'm so excited for them to release new music. I absolutely loved their F.E.A.R album, but I admit I'm not overly thrilled with the single, "Crooked Teeth." Its okay, but its definitely not their best work. None the less, I'm quite excited to see what they have in store for us. I'm also curious about As It Is' Okay album which comes out January 20.
Then there's my best moment of 2016.... That's a tough one. I have a lot more to say that will just be put into the 2016 Recap blog, but I'll go ahead and say one thing. Which I will surely repeat in more detail in the recap. That was meeting Brent Smith of Shinedown, very briefly while covering their set. That was the funniest way I have ever met someone, and it just amuses me how 20 photographers can get into such a zone that they don't notice a singer crouched down wanting their attention. Go read the recap, I'll tell the story (and many, many more) over there.
Enough with the questions....let's get into those categories. I tend to keep the categories fairly basic. and they don't really ever change. I'll try to keep this brief, since this is by far not a brief post. Once again I would like to state that these are just my opinions, and I would love to hear your favorites as well!
Best Guitarist: Zach Myers of Shinedown
There's a lot of choices, but I decided to choose Zach because I saw Shinedown for the forth time earlier this year, and they never fail to impress me. Plus, I am almost certain he remembered me from when I interviewed him in 2014.
Runners up included; Tony Perry of Pierce The Veil, DJ Ashba from Sixx:AM, and Lee Malia from Bring Me The Horizon.
Best Bassist: Nikki Sixx of Sixx:AM
I decided to pick him because I saw Sixx:AM at Fort Rock this year and honestly wasn't expecting much. I've never been a massive fan of their music, but their stage presence blew me away. Nikki himself is a performer, and then you add the rest of the band to it. That gives you one hell of a show.
I did not think of any runners up for this category.
Best Singer: Oli Sykes of Bring Me The Horizon.
I chose Oli because seeing BMTH at Fort Rock this year was one of the biggest highlights of my year. I find him to be quite talented, and a lot of fun to watch. My only complaint really is how much he encourages mosh pits and crowd surfing. It was fun to watch from the safety of the VIP section, but I had never witnessed so many people come out of a crowd unconcious before. Its simply dangerous.
Runners up; Adam Gontier of Saint Asonia, Brent Smith of Shinedown, James Michael of Sixx:AM, and Dennis Stoff formerly of Asking Alexandria.
Best Screamer: Austin Carlile from Of Mice And Men
Austin has had an incredibly hard year, and he pushed on for a very long time. He's now finally taking some time to recover, which is much needed. He's one of the strongest people I know of, and I for one have all the respect in the world for him. He's recently spoken out about Marfan Syndrome, and stated he will never get better. I can only imagine the battle he's dealing with, not only pyschically but mentally. He deserves a lot more credit than he's given, just for his strength alone. His talents are simply a bonus. The world needs more people as grateful and humble as Austin Carlile and I felt it was worth expressing, despite the announcement of his departure yesterday.
Runner ups; Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch. I went back and forth on if he was a singer or screamer, but regardless felt he needed mentioning. Much like Austin, he's been dealing with his own battles. His this year have come in the forms of addiction, and mental health issues. He's showing a lot of strength by helping himself out, and too many fans are not supporting him in this. I for one, commorate such strength. I also wanted to mention David Draiman because won last year, and while I wouldn't exactly call him a screamer, he does put on one hell of performance. Much like Sixx:AM, I did not know what to expect when I saw them live, but what completely blown away.
Best Drummer: Barry Kerch of Shinedown
I don't have a full reason for this, except for the fact that I enjoy Shinedown as a hole. I only attended two shows this year, which was Fort Rock and Lacey Sturm in a bar in Winter Park, FL. At Fort Rock, I couldn't really see any of the drummers very well, but I did manage to get a picture of a few of them. Barry being one of them. As said earlier, this was my forth time seeing Shinedown live, and I can't say as though I've ever shed light on him, so now I am doing so!
Runners Up: Dustin Steinke -touring drummer for Sixx:AM, Rian Dawson of All Time Low, Mike Wengren of Disturbed, and Jeremy Spencer of Five Finger Death Punch
Favorite Band: I Prevail
I had enjoyed I Prevail's cover of "Blank Space" for all of 2015, and all of this year, but for some reason didn't actually sit down and listen to their original music until later in the year. Where have they been all my life? They're so good, lyrically and musically. I've been missing out on their music, and am very glad I got around to listening to them.
Runners Up: Bring Me The Horizon, Shinedown, Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch.
Best Music video: Follow You -Bring Me The Horizon
Off the top of my head, I couldn't think of too many music videos I've even watched this year. Which makes absolutely no sense because I know there's been tons of them. But then this one came to my mind and its totally different from my usual taste. I don't tend to do the zombie thing, but yet it completely worked for Follow You.
Best Song: Stuck In Your Head -I Prevail
I have been absolutely loving this song. I was extremely late on listening to I Prevail, as I said a few categories above. Their debut album, Lifelines came out in October of this year, and I honestly only listened to it a couple weeks ago. BUT Stuck In Your Head has been stuck in my head (how ironic) ever since. So I decided to pick this one as the best song.
Runner Up: Heathens by Twenty One Pilots;
Why is it the second you get asked a question you draw a blank on every new song? I suddenly started questioning if anything I listen to all the time came out this year or if it was last year or later. Perhaps its because I was working on this at 5 o'clock in the morning, but Heathens was all that would come to my mind. Funny thing is, I work at a movie theater and since it plays at the end of Suicide Squad, you'd think we would all be sick of it at the theater. Somehow that's not the case, we all happily would listen to it 5 times a day while cleaning the theater, and still to this day talk about it. Just the other day I had to tell one of my managers who it was by again. This was my original answer before remembering Stuck In Your Head which also came out this year and is something I've been loving.
Best Album of 2016: Bad Vibrations from A Day To Remember
Much like with the best song...I completely drew a blank for a moment on every new album! Then a quick look through my iTunes reminded me of Bad Vibrations. This album had to grow on me because at first, I didn't really know if I liked more than a couple of songs. After listening to it a few times, I realized the album feels quite personal to Jeremy McKinnon which makes it very special.
Hottest Female in Music: Melanie Martinez
I know that sounds completely out of character for Immortal Music, but honestly she's the first solo artist I've liked in I'm not sure how long. I very rarely like solo artists to begin with, let alone ones that are basically pop. There's something about her that's very attention grabbing, and different. I chose her mostly because of her unique sound and surprisingly dark lyrics, but she's also very pretty.
Runners Up: Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Lindsay Gunn of Pvris, Jenna McDougal of Tonight Alive.
Hottest Male in Music: James Michael of Sixx:AM.
I was tempted to give this to any of the boys in Bring Me The Horizon, just because of how much I've been listening to them this year, but I decided to go with James Michael instead because he really impressed me when I saw them live. This is not based on looks at all, though I will say one of my favorite pictures from the year is of him. You'll see it again, I'll probably include it in the year's recap.
Runners Up: All of Bring Me The Horizon, Jack Barakat of All Time Low (who was the winner for two years in a row), Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach, Brent Smith of Shinedown (who is just classy), Zach Myers of Shinedown, and Dennis Stoff formerly of Asking Alexandria.
I think that about covers it....I hppe you guys enjoyed reading my thoughts on some of the music world talents. I honestly couldn't just leave the Awards alone, but didn't have time to get you guys to vote on everything as throughly and fairly as I have in past years. So, going back to the 2011 roots of the awards felt like the only way to go.
I really want to hear your thoughts on each category as well! Who would you have chosen for each? Let me know!
Thank you very much for reading, and sticking by me all year. Its highly appreciated, more than words can really express. Stay tuned because I am hoping to be more active in 2017. The fun actually begins January 7, as we will begin posting an album review every single day! All of this is for the 2017 Fort Rock festival, and we're hoping to keep the fun going long after the festival.
We shall see what happens! Thank you for all your love and support, and here's hoping 2017 is way better to the world than 2016 was.
Look back the Immortal Music Awards! 2011 - 2012 -2013 -2014 -2015
Hello, readers, friends, family, fans -whoever you happen to be! I really hope you've had a great holiday, and are looking forward to 2017. I'm hopeful that its going to bring bigger, better and greater things to the entire world, and am doing my best to start off the new year with a bunch of content.
Which actually brings me to something I wanted to address with all of you. As you may have been aware, a few weeks ago we announced the 2017 Fort Rock Project, which was going to contain news, reviews, biographies and the occasional blog post here and there. All of which was going to be for Fort Rock artists. This is the second annual Fort Rock Project here on Immortal Music, and I am still going to do this with the help of Coby Andrews, who joined us earlier this year.
The project is going to still be in effect, however, I am going to make a slight change. Originally the plan was to post a review basically every single day, news as often as possible and a biography every week. We still are going to do the reviews, and of course the news is a must, but I've been doing a lot of thinking about the biographies.
I think I am going to opt out of them this year, for the most part. There's a few reasons for this, and hppefully they make sense to anyone besides me. The main reason is the fact that hardly anyone seems to read them, which makes sense. A quick Google search will tell you the band's back history, and since its all right there on the internet anyways, it felt sort of redundant to transcribe them all into my own words. Especially given the fact that stats have shown that they are often over looked, despite all forms of promotion.
The other reasons go hand in hand with that. They take forever to transcribe, depending on how long the band's history is. I easily can spend an entire week working on one, because I can't dedicate a very long amount of time to write it all in one setting. With my day job, the holidays, or just other content that needs worked on, all the biographies get worked on in segments. Plus, I find them boring to write. As I said before, all the information is easily found online, so it began to feel like a waste of time. Its not that the bands are not interesting, because they most definitely are, it just felt like an improper use of time.
I'm not saying there won't be any biographies -you're still more than likely going to get one here and there. Just do not expect to see them every week. However, I strongly urge you to come back to Immortal Music every single day because beginning January 7, there will be a review posted every single day!
Also in just a few more days -on New Years Eve-, I will be posting the 2016 Immortal Music Awards, and there may be a 2016 Recap blog. So definitely stick around, because you don't want to miss a thing.
If you've been around for awhile, you might remember us doing a little thing called the Fort Rock project last year. The Fort Rock project was where we posted news, biographies, reviews, and the occasional blog post for artists performing at Southwest Florida's biggest and best event -Fort Rock.
This year, is quite similar. Last year over 23,000 people gathered to see bands like Disturbed, Shinedown, Bring Me The Horizon, Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie, Bullet For My Valentine, Megadeth, and many, many more. In promotion for this, we posted a total of 228 articles, most of which were reviews.
This year fans will be gathering to see bands like Def Leppard, Soundgarden, A Perfect Circle, The Offspring, Seether, Papa Roach, In Flames, I Prevail, and many, many more. We have already begun working on content for this year's festival and below are all the links.
If you'd like to see what all we did last year please click here.
All That Remain's Phil Labonte joins 5FDP (12/1/16)
Fort Rock Lineup (12/5/16)
I Prevail Goes Acoustic with Linkin Park Cover (12/15/16)
Alter Bridge 2017 tour w/ Nonpoint (12/15/16)
Mastodon's original singer passed away (12/28/16)
Fort Rock Predictions (11/29/16)
Thoughts on the Fort Rock lineup (12/7/16)
Fort Rock Project 2017 Announcement (12/8/16)
Def Leppard Biography (Fort Rock Project #1) (12/12/16)
Changes To The Fort Rock Project (12/28/16)
I Prevail Announces tour (1/3/17)
Rocklahoma 2017 (1/10/17)
Josh Balz leaves Motionless In White (1/10/17)
Def Leppard Announces tour w/ Tesla and Poison (1/12/17)
A Perfect Circle Tickets on sale now! (1/13/17)
Motionless In White -"Eternally Yours" (1/13/17)
Three Days Grace- Three Days Grace (1/7/17)
Dinosaur Pile-Up -Eleven Eleven (1/8/17)
One-X- Three Days Grace (1/9/17)
Karma And Effect -Seether (1/10/17)
Lifelines -I Prevail (1/11/17)
Light Me Up -The Pretty Reckless (1/12/17)
The Paramour Sessions -Papa Roach (1/13/17)
The Few Not Fleeting -Nothing More (1/14/17)
Disclaimer II -Seether (1/15/17)
Behind Silence And Solitude-All That Remains (1/16/17)
The Taken EP -Cover Your Tracks (1/17/17)
Point #1 -Chevelle (1/18/17
One Day Remains- Alter Bridge (1/19/17)
Human -Three Days Grace (1/20/17)
Creatures -Motionless In White (1/21/17)
Aggressive -Beartooth (1/22/17)
Metamorphosis -Papa Roach (1/23/17)
Blood -In This Moment (1/24/17)
On Through The Night -Def Leppard (1/25/17)
Americana -The Offspring (1/26/17)
Louder Than Love -Soundgarden (1/28/17)
Danger In The Morning EP -Goodbye June (1/29/17)
Thoughts on Seether's "Let You Down" (2/24/17)
New All That Remains new singles! (2/3/17)
In This Moment and Motionless In White tour! (2/6/17)
New Papa Roach song- Help! (2/16/17)
I Prevail Forced to Reschedule Shows (2/18/17)
New Seether music on the horizon??? (2/22/17)
Rise Above Fest 2017 Announced (2/22/17)
I Prevail and Starset tour (2/23/17)
Seether -Poison The Parish (Album Announcement!) (2/24/17)
Once More 'Round The Sun -Mastodon (2/1/17)
March 2017: News:
Motionless In White -Loud (3/2/17)
Seether -Poison The Parish tour! (3/3/17)
Other relevant content......All of the following are for artists that will be at the 2017 Fort Rock festival, but was written prior to this. Fun fact! One of the reviews was actually the very first review to ever be written for Immortal Music. Dating all the way back to 2010 -which was just before Immortal Music as it is today began.)
Life Starts Now- Three Days Grace (1/10/10)
Holding Onto Strings Much Better Left To Fray -Seether (9/12/2011)
Transit Of Venus- Three Days Grace (10/14/12)
Isolate And Medicate- Seether (7/26/14)
Reincarnate -Motionless In White (1/6/15)
Disgusting -Beartooth (5/25/15)
Black Widow -In This Moment (8/12/15)
Heart Vs Mind EP - I Prevail (7/30/16)
Nothing More -Nothing More (8/18/16)
F.E.A.R -Papa Roach (1/28/16)
Getting Away With Murder -Papa Roach (6/11/16)
Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces- Seether (6/14/16)
Infest -Papa Roach (6/16/16)
Time For Annihilation -Papa Roach (6/20/16)
Infamous -Motionless In White (7/2/16)
The Connection- Papa Roach (8/12-16)
Seether Biography (6/20/16)
John Humphrey of Seether (1/15/15)
Def Leppard is a name that just about everyone knows. Even if they don't, they definitely have heard a song or two from them. They originally formed in 1977 and were a big part of the new wave of British heavy metal.
Now I'm not sure if you'd call them 'heavy metal' today, I've heard everything from grunge rock, hard rock, or glam metal. Whatever you choose to call them, they're inevitablly a legendary band.
They originally were formed when Rick Savage, Tony Kenning, and Pete Willis all met at Tapton School in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. They filmed a band called Atomic Mass, originally, which had quite the different lineup. When it first started, they had Rick Savage on guitar, but then he switched to bass. Pete Willis took up the guitar, and Tony Kenny was their drummer. They then welcomed Joe Elliot as a guitarist, and it was supposedly all because Pete missed a bus to practice. During the audition, they actually decided he would be a great singer, so they decided to place him there.
Here's some proof that all bands start small -their first show was in the dining hall of Westfield School in Mosborough, Sheffield.
The name Def Leppard didn't come fully for a while, though they did adopt 'Deaf Leopard", which was something Joe Elliot thought of. He apparently thought of it while he was in English class, working on reviews for imaginary rock bands. As someone who writes reviews frequently, that's much appreciated.
Upon hearing it, Tony suggested that they change the spelling a bit, because it felt too much like a punk band name to him. Thus 'Def Leppard' was born.
Here's where their lineup changes began fully. In January 1978, Steve Clark joined the band
In November, just as they were about to record their first EP, Tony left the band suddenly. He was replaced for the recording sessions by Frank Noon. By the end of the month, they also welcomed a full time drummer , RIck Allen, who was only fifteen at the time. He however, joined just after the recording of what would later be called The Def Leppard EP.
The three song EP was released in January 1979 and had great sales after "Getcha Rocks Off" was played on BBC Radio 1 frequently.
Then throughout 1979, their following began to grow around the British heavy metal and hard rock community. This lead them to become one of the leaders in the new wave of British heavy metal, despite their young age. All of this success lead to them getting a record deal through Phonogram/ Vertigo (also known as Mercury Records in the US). Upon getting signed and getting a new management team, they were booked to go on tour with AC/DC.
Def Leppard finally released their debut album, On Through The Night the following year. The album came out on March 14, 1980.The album reached numbre 15 on the UK album charts and reached 51 on the Billboard 200 here in the US. By November 18, 1983, the ablum was certified Gold by the RIAA, and platinum by May of 1989.
The album featured re-recorded verisons of early demos, and two tracks from their EP. Those two tracks were "Rocks Off" and "Overture." Over all, the album recieved positive reviews, and many highlighted the fact that they were one of the leads on the new wave of heavy metal in England.
The songs from this album were performed live for a few years, but were mostly dropped after 1983. Only two that remained for a longer period were, "Rock Brigade" and "Wasted", but even those didn't get played life again until after 2000.
With this album, not only came some great fame, but also some displeasure. On the album is a song called "Hello America", which was percieved to be 'trying too hard to appeal to American fans.' People reacted so badly that when they performed at the Reading Festival in Reading and Leeds in England, that fans supposedly threw beer cans and bottles filled with urine at the band. Journalists accused them of "Selling out", and frankly, it was all about too much. Luckily, the band shut down what all was said about the Reading incident and said that all of the bands that performed that day recieved similar treatment. Sounds like a shitty festival experience, if you ask me.
Luckily none of this backlash effected them too harshly. In fact, by this time AC/DC's producer decided to approach them. They then worked together on what would be come the band's second album, High N' Dry.
This album too recieved some good reviews, and ratings. It hit 26 on UK album charts, and 38 on the Billboard 200. It even made a comeback on charts the following yaear, after the release of their third album, Pyromania. We'll get back to that album shortly, but when High N' Dry made its come back, it popped back up to number 72 on the US charts. This album also held the song that would become the very first metal video to ever be played on MTV. That song was "Bringin' On The Heartbreak", and the video was played in 1982.
High N' Dry was originally released on July 11, 1981, and then was re-released on May 21, 1984 with two more bonus tracks. The two tracks were remixes of "Bringin' On The Heartbreak" and "Me & My Wine." They made videos for both of these songs, and both videos featured Phil Collen who was actually not yet in the band, but soon joined when Pete Willis departed from the band in 1982. Pete departed exactly a year after the album was released, due to excessive alcohol consumption while working. He didn't stay out of the music scene forever though, he did go on to have two other bands, Gogmagog and Roadhouse.
Now with Phil Collen in the band, they released their third album, Pyromania. See, I told you we would get back to this one? Pyromania was released on June 20, 1983. This is where they really hit a turning point in their career. The lead single, "Photograph" is what helped make them a household name. According to Wikipedia, it even beat out Michael Jackson's "Beat It" as the most requested video on MTV and became a massive part of radio in the rock world. It also topped the US charts for six whole weeks, and brought them the chance to do a headlining tour around the US.
After the success of "Photograph", they decided to release two other singles, "Rock of Ages" and "Follin'."
All of this helped them sell over six million copies of the album, and broke into some new charts. Never before had they reached charts in Sweden, Canada or New Zealand but here they did. Pyromania reached number 4 in Canada, number 26 in New Zealand and 23 in Sweden. It also reached number 18 on UK charts, and number 2 in the US. This album brought them the most success they had had yet. By 2004, Pyromania was actually given a diamond certification, for selling over 10 million copies in the US. So clearly, this was quite the impressive album.
After the success of that album, the band relocated to Finland, supposedly for tax purposes to begin writing their next album.
Then suddenly, on New years eve of 1984, their drummer, Rick allen was in a bad car accident back home in Sheffield. He was out with his girlriend and swerved off the road and went through a drystone wall. This accident resulted in him losing his arm, yet Rick remained very determined to keep going with the band.
His dedication is highly impressive, and admirable. He realized he could use his legs to do some of the drumming, and taught himself to do that. He also then worked with the brand Simmons to design an electric drum kit to help him out. Def Leppard supported their friend and never once looked for a replacement. Within a matter of months, he was back drumming, and once said the moment he was able to drum one of their songs again, was quite emotional.
Even if you're not a Def Leppard fan, you really have to respect that. That's a massive challenge, that some couldn't cover come. He didn't let that get him down, and that's a very inspiring feat.
He made his comeback officially at the 1986 Monsters of Rock festival and recieved an ovation from the audience.
Probably partly due to his accident, there was a bit longer of a gap in between albums for Def Leppard. Finally though, they released their fourth studio album, Hysteria on August 3, 1987. This one managed to beat out the success even o their last album, selling over 25 million copies, and charting number one in both the US and UK. The album's title actually in a way is a tribute to Rick, who thought of it. He was refering to the accident and the coverage the media produced surrounding the situation.
This album features the one song that I am certain just about everyone has heard. That one is "Pour Some Sugar On Me." Many would say they have much better songs, and they definitely have tons of other hits, but that song is one I am confident just about everyone has heard at least once in their life.
This album literally exploded with success. Since its release, its gone 12x platinum here in the US, 10x Platinum in the US, 2x platinum in the UK and 4x platinum in Australia. It remained in the US Top 40 charts for 96 weeks straight, had three singles break into the top ten here in the US, and still sits as the 51st Best Selling album of all time here in the US. This is the kind of success that bands dream of, so I can just imagine how completely thrilled they must be with everything they've done.
"Pour Some Sugar On Me" was the fourth single from the almost, reached number 3 on the Billboard 200, and was named by VH1 to be number two in the list of "100 Great Songs of the 80s'."
They just kept getting hits with this album, having "Love Bites" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, "Armageddon It" hit the Top 5, and "Rocket" was in the Top 20.
Adter all of that excitment, surely they felt on top of the world and wanted to give fans even more. So, they then performed "Tear It Down", which was B-Side for Hysteria at the MTV Music Awards in 1989. After the fans gave extreme postive feed back, they decided to rework it some to put it on their next album, Adrenalize.
They were eager to record the fifth album, because the last album was so successful but also came after quite a long gap. However, there was quite the setback. Steve Clark, the band's guitarist was struggling quite a bit with alcoholism, and it had gotten worse somewhat recently. He took a six month leave from the band, after being in and out of rehabb for quite some time. Then unfortunately, on January 8, 1991, he died in his house in London from alcohol and perscription medications.
The rest of the band decided to contiune and recorded the album as a four pierce band. Phil Collen tried his best to imitate the style Steve would have produced on the guitar for the album. They then released Adrenalize on March 31, 1992.
The album reached number one in the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia, and has gone gold in the UK, 3x Platinum in the US and 4x Platinum in Canada. From the first single, "Let's Get Rocked", it was a massive hit. That song alone was nominated for the Best Song Of The Year at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards. Being the glam metal that it was, it stood out quite a bit. At this point in time, pop-metal and grunge were quite popular so they drew a ton of attention.
In October of 1993, they released a collection of B-sides and unreleased tracks that spanned anywhere from 1984 all the way to 1993, and called it Retro Active. Also in this time, as a reflective sort of states, Def Leppard released their first greatest hits album. This one was called Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980-1995). That one came out on October 23, 1995, and had alternate track listings in North America, the UK, and Japan. All of the albums issues though featured a new track, which was a power ballad called, "When Love & Hate Collide." This song actually became their biggest hit ever in the UK, as it hit number 2 on the UK Singles charts.
Also on that day, the band got placed in the Guiness Book Of World records by performing three concerts, on three continents in one day. Starting at midnight, in Africa, they began a marathon tour and finished late that night in Canada. They made a stop in England along the way for good measure.
Then in May 1996, they released their sixth studio album, Slang. This album was a massive difference for the band musically, as it featured darker lyrics than ever before, and a stripped down, more alternative rock feel to it. Something else that was a bit different for this album, was the band recorded it all together, rather than recording each part seperately. This gave the album a bit of a live feel to it, and had quite the response. The album hit number 5 in the UK and number 14 in the US. It also has been certified platinum in Canada and gold in the US and UK.
This was also the first album to be recorded with Rick Allen using a semi acoustic drum set since his accident. Prior to this, he used his electric set.
They did revive their classic sound though on June 8, 1999 with Euphoria. This one too was recieved very well -its beginning to feel like Def Leppard could release the sound of a rock dropping to the floor and it would still do well on charts. This one hit number 11 in both the UK, and US, and had a number one hit on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. That song was the lead single, "Promises."
After all the success they had over the years, Def Leppard were induced into the Rock Walk Of Fame on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard by Brian May of Queen. Thne in 2001, VH1 released a biopic docudrama called Hysteria- The Def Leppard Story. This played dramatic restorations of the band's history, ranging from 1977 through 1986. They did include the struggles and overcomings of Rick Allen and Steve Clark. They said this gave them some of their highest ratings ever, and you can get the documentary on DVD.
Now it came time for Def Leppard's tenth album, which was simply titled X. X was released on July 31, 2002. This album has a vastly new direction for the band, as it leaned a bit more toward pop. When obviously their sound was always more on the hard rock side, this album is seen as one of the lesser successful albums. However, it still had a decent reaction. Strong crowds still showed up to the tour supporting it, and the album reached number 11 on the Billboard 200, and 14 in the UK. However, it did not spark any number one hits, nor has it gotten certified at all.
This is where they slowed down a bit on the recording, but still were doing other things. They released an expanded and updated version of their Best hits in October 2004, switched their management team from Q-Team to HK Management, and releaased a cover album titled Yeah! Yeah! Came out on May 23, 2006, and were covers of many childhood songs for them from bands like Blondie, The Kinks, Sweet, ELO, Bad Finger and many others. This album also broke into the top 20 in the US, reaching 16, making it the tenth consecutive Top 20 hit.
They were also the inagural indutees of the VH1 Rock Honors, along side Queen, Kiss and Judas Priest on May 31, 2006. They also got to hear All American Rejects do a cover of their song "Photograph." Following this show was a tou with Journey, and they re-released Hysteria in a two- disco deluxe edition that gave the original album in a remastered format. Included with this were b-sides, bonus tracks and remixes. To support this, they went on toru with Foreigner and Styx.
Finally on April 28, 2008, Def Leppard released their first studio album in six years. This one was called Songs From The Sparkle Lounge and clearly fans were extremely excited for this new release. The album debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200, 7 in Canada, 8 in the over all world chart, and broke the top 50 in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Fermany, New Zealand, Ireland, and the UK. The first single, "Nine Lives" actually featured Tim McGraw and was a joint effort written by Joe Elliot, Phil Collen and Rick Savage.
They then set out on tour with a few different bands over the course of 2008/ 2009. These bands included Styx, REO Speedwagon, Black Stone Cherry, Thunder, White Snake, and more. In this time as well, they got to play the Download festival!
Oddly enough, they actually performed with Taylor Swift in October 2008, and it was for CMT Crossroads: Taylor Swift and Def Leppard. It was released on DVD June 16 the following year, and was sold exclusively through Walmart.
They also unfortunately had to cancel the final leg of the 2009 North American tour, due to unseen personal reasons. Of course, people assumed they were breaking up, which the band instantly shut down. No idea what really caused it, but honestly touring can kick your ass. Sometimes you get sick, run down, and its just simply too much. People tend to forget that.
After that happened, the band decided to take all of 2010 off of touring, but to somewhat make up for it released their first live album. The album was called Mirror Ball- Live & More and was a two disc live album that feautred three new recorded songs. For some erason they chose to release it in parts of Europe on June 3, then the rest of Europe on June 6, and finally the US on June 7. It was also announced around this time that Def Leppard would be performing at that year's Download festival.
They also set out on a two month tour around the US that summer with Heart, and then also did seven shows in Australia in October with The Choirboys, and Heart as well. Two Japanese shows happened in November, and ssix happened in the UK in December with Steel Panther and Motley Crue. They also toured with Poison and Lita Ford in the US over the summer of 2012.
In June 2013, Vivian Campbell announced that he had Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which is a malignant form of cancer that effects the Reed- Sternberg cells, all of which are locationed in the lymph nodes. He kept playined with Def Leppard, and never canceled or rescheduled a show. He said that performing was the best way to remain otimistic, so he refused to quit. He proudly annunced in November that he was in remission, but unfortunately it came back. Hey said once it goes back into remission, he can undergo a stem-cell transplant.
They released another live album, Viva! Hysteria the following year, on October 22, 2013, and this was the first time they actually played an album in full from start to finish.
In February 2014, the band decided to do yet another remastered verison of an album. This time it was Slang, and they relreased it with 30 tracks total, and included unreleased material, B-sides and demons. Following that, they went on tour with Kiss, and all ticket sales contributed to military chariteis such as the Wounded Warrior Project. They also contriubuted to the Paul McCartney tribute album, Art Of McCartney. Joe Elliot on his own also recorded another song for the album.
In more recent time, they've done a decent amount of things, including some unique things such as having a cartoon and documentary in the works. However apparently these things were put aside, but hopefully at some point the world will see these.
They toured quite a bit over the course of 2014 and 2015 with Kiss, Styx, Tesla and Whitesnake. Then they released their eleventh and most recent album, which was self titled. The album came out on October 30, 2015 and debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200. It ended up going up to number 5 on the Bollboard 200, but also hit number 1 on three other US charts. It hit 2 in Swizterland, and broke the top twenty in the UK, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Canada, Austria and Australia.
This brings up to this year. They kicked off 2016 with the Hysteria On The High Seas Concert Cruise around the MSC Divina. It was supposed to be open just for concert goers, but the sales were a bit low, so cabins on the boat were opened up to others as well. The cruise apparently was something of a mess. First sales were low, then the boat could not dock at the island they were supposed to, due to terrible weather. Then Joe Elliot got laryngitis, and that lead to the band performing without him for the first time ever. Vivian and Phil took over on vocals, and shorted the set.
When they got back to land, Joe was still sick. He worked to get through the first concert back on land, but then unfortunately they had to cancel the next night's show because the doctors told Joe that he would do serious damage if he kept trying. Luckily, it didn't take too much longer for him to recover, and by July they were able to go back out on tour and completed all 48 concerts.
As the year comes to a close, things are really looking good for Def Leppard. They will be performing at a few big festivals, starting with Fort Rock on April 29, then they will be playing Welcome To Rockville on April 30, Carolina Rebellion on May 6 and River City Rockfest on May 27!
They also have yet another live DVD out for pre-order right now. This one is called Def Leppard Live from Detrot, and will be out on Feburary 2017. You can pre-order it now through PledgeMusic, and get several pre-order bundles!
Be sure to stay up to date with Def Leppard by liking their Facebook page and checking out their official website.
We're bringing the Fort Rock project back! Last year we announced a project that lasted for technically four months where we posted album reviews, news, biographies and the occasional blog post for all the Fort Rock artists.
Last year, 24 bands performed at the 2016 Fort Rock festival, and between them all there were 124 albums, all of which got reviewed. We also wrote 22 biographies, one for almost all of the bands. Two of the smaller bands got excluded, not because we didn't care, but because we could not find enough information and did not hear back from the bands to get further information.
This year, we're deciding to do just that all over again! This year, there's still 24 bands, but there are only 109 reviews left for us to do. Some of the artists have already been worked on, though we think we may revisit some of the albums. That is because some of the reviews are extremely old, so old in fact one of them was the very first review to ever be written on Immortal Music.
So we have lots to do, and here is our plan! The reviews will begin on January 7, and then will go consistently every day until just a few days before the festival. Fort Rock is on April 29, and our goal is to have every album posted by the 26th. That gives us enough time to post one review a day up until the festival.
We also are going to try to post a biography once a week for the most part. There's only 20 weeks til Fort Rock, however, so we're going to double up at some point and give you two a week. That won't last very long though, that'll only be for about two weeks. There's currently no plan on when that will happen, and it actually may not. If things follow suit, I'll have a hard time finding information on a couple smaller bands, so we may not have to double up at all. We shall look into it and get back to you at a later date!
So try to get excited for the reviews to start, and expect the biographies to start very shortly! We're not going to tell you when they're going to start exactly, just expect them very soon!
Get excited, a lot is coming your way.
Who do you think we're going to start with? Let us know and see if you're right soon.
Two days ago the 2017 Fort Rock lineup was announced! Unfortunately, due to work, I was unable to write about this the day of. Its only two days later, so its still completely relevent.
Now I was actually at work when it was opened at noon, and instantly had people IMing me and texting me all excited about their favorites. Which made my excitement for the lineup take over, and I admit, I caved and looked at it right in the lobby of my work. Which could get me in trouble, but luckily my work was a ghost town yesterday, so it didn't matter at all.
As soon as I saw the lineup, I had mixed reactions. Part of me was like, "YES!" and then another part of me was like, "What?" Its a very mixed lineup, with several you would expect to play, and several you would not.
Then as I was looking at it, I realized I once again did nail some of the lineup! I guessed that Soundgarden, Papa Roach, The Pretty Reckless, Alter Bridge, Motionless In White, Starset, Nothing More, Seether,The Offspring, In Flames, Chevelle, Three Days Grace, In This Moment, and Beartooth would all be there. If you want to read the post where I put out my guesses, and explained the speculations, please feel free to click here.
Some of the bands, I'm completely thrilled about. This will be my third time seeing Papa Roach, and Seether, and I'm hopeful to actually get to watch Starset and Motionless In White this year. Chevelle intrigues me because I have only seen them once before, and due to a crappy sound guy that night, they sounded awful. So I'm excited to give them a second chance -seven years later.
But the headliners?? I may sound a little bit unprofessional here, or just completely out of the loop, but they kind of suck! Admittedly, I don't think I've ever listened to A Perfect Circle, so I cannot judge them, but The Offspring, Def Leppard and Soundgarden? Not interested...I've never really gotten into any of them, and to be honest, I didn't think Def Leppard were still active.
I know that's probably kind of bad of me, but I honestly had no idea! I've never really gotten into any of those bands, so somehow they slipped through the cracks. In fact, sadly, I thought Def Leppard hadn't released anything in my life time. One quick Google search taugh me that they have released five more albums since I was born. Which isn't a ton, when you think about the fact that I am 23 years old.
I'd like to know how others feel about the headliners, because they really don't strike my attention at all. The Offspring has headlined before, but that was the year I did not try to attend. So I personally have never seen them, but I didn't hear a ton of people express excitment when they performed in 2014. Not for any particular reason, and it could have just been simply by the time they got on stage, the people I talked to were tired and ready to go home.
I had heard Fort Rock was trying to be 'bigger and better' this year, and judging by the lineup, I can see their effort. There are some big names in the list, from the headliners to Papa Roach, Seether, All That Remains, but I really don't think they topped this year.
There was 23,000 people there, all to see Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Bring Me The Horizon, Bullet For My Valentine, Saint Asonia, Asking Alexandria, Trivium and a ton more. Maybe it just drew my attention more, but I'm sure someone out there completely disagrees with me.
I am geniunely excited to see some of the lineup though! I Prevail is an exciting one because I've recently really gotten into their music, and was going to cover them in the summer when they toured with Pierce The Veil. Unfortunately, due to a hurricane, I was unable to travel to them, so I'm excited to get a second chance there. I've already mentioned that I'm excited to see Papa Roach, Seether, Starset, Motionless In White and Chevelle. I also have interest in actually watching In This Moment, The Pretty Reckless and Beartooth.
There's funny reasons for some of them. I've seen Motionless In White before, and interviewed Starset, but yet have never watched them. When I saw Motionless In White, I think they only had their Creatures album out, and at the time, it wasn't my cup of tea at all. Over the years, they've evolved and grown on me a lot. So I have wanted to give them a second chance for a while. They performed at the 2015 Fort Rock festival, but I missed their set entirely because I was interviewing Starset.
I missed Starset's performance at that same festival due to another interview, with Young Guns. Do you know how weird is it to admit that to a band? I was sitting there with two of the members and they expressed interest in if I had watched their set. I felt bad having to tell them no, I missed their set entirely but they didn't seem too phased. I think its because bands know how hectic a festival is, especially behind the scenes. Plus they probably miss performances they want to see all the time. So, this year, I am determined to check them out.
I also am very excited to try to get some interviews! I tend to ask for way too many interviews, and get lucky if four answer. I am hoping to finally get my Papa Roach interview, and would love to do follow up interviews with Seether and Starset. I also would like to speak to I Prevail, Dinosaure Pile Up (I currently know nothing about them, but their name is highly amusing to me so I'm intrigued), Beartooth, Nothing More, In Flames, Alter Bridge, In This Moment, The Pretty Reckless, Motionless In White, Chevelle, Alter Bridge, and All That Remains.
So basically I want to talk to most of the lineup, so I'll be happy with whoever is willing to speak with me. We shall see what happens!
Let me know your thoughts on the lineup and stay tuned because we are going to do be doing the Fort Rock project again this year! That is something we did last year, where we did 124 album reviews, 22 biographies, and posted a ton of news articles. Over 200 articles got posted in regards of the 2016 Fort Rock festival and this year we are planning similar endeavours.
Stay tuned for the game plan and then all the content! Its all coming soon.
Festival season is just around the corner, and as exciting as it is, something always has to come first! Before the festivals happen, there's always a series of lineup announcements for various festivals that will happen in the coming year. That season is now upon us, and has kicked off with the 11th Annual Rock On The Range festival! If you'd like to see the full lineup, please click here, because this post is not about Rock On The Range directly. Its connected, yes, but its actually about Fort Rock 2017, just as the title says.
Now I've been going to festivals for several years now, and have come to notice something very interesting regarding them. All the US festivals (aside from Warped tour, which always has to be the unique one), tend to have similar lineups. I assume its so less people around the country feel left out when they hear of a festival that's too far away from them that they would love to go.
No two lineups are ever the exact same, but they always have bands in common. Also, there's some observations I've made regarding Fort Rock. Some bands seem to perform every other year, and no band has ever played two years in a row. For example, Papa Roach performed at Fort Rock 2013, which was the first year, and 2015. Rob Zombie played in 2014, and 2016, as did Five Finger Death Punch.
So, given those observations, I think I might be able to make some good guesses regarding the 2017 Fort Rock lineup. Plus, its kind of just fun to see if I can guess any of the bands. Last year I guessed nine of the bands performing for Fort Rock this year, and let me tell you -I was very excited about it! What I think its kind of interesting, is I looked back just to see who all I guessed and what all I said surrounding those guesses and a handful of the bands that are actually playing ROTR 2017 were on my guess list. None of those bands actually performed this year, but I'm wondering if they may perform this year.
On that list, and the ROTR lineup for this year are Korn, Volbeat, Beartooth, Seether, Alter Bridge, and Nothing More. Korn, Volbeat, Nothing More and Alter Bridge have all played Fort Rock before, but not recently. So, I am wondering if they could be there in 2017. Volbeat hasn't performed since the first year in 2013, Korn, Nothing More and Alter Bridge all have not performed at Fort Rock since 2014, so it seems possible that they would all perform.
I've been wracking my brain to come up with ideas ever since they announced the dates for Fort Rock 2017. Its going to be the fifth annual one, and the fourth one I've attended as press. 3rd one in a row! So, Fort Rock is quite special to me. So, based off some of my own guesses, and the ROTR line up, I think I might have somewhat of an educated guess.
Just as I said last year, I must throw out there that I don't actually know the lineup, so I imagine more than half of the bands I guess will not actually perform. With enough information, and context clues though, sometimes you can get a vague idea. I mean, after all, last year, I did guess that Disturbed, Shinedown, Bring Me The Horizon, Lamb Of God, A Day To Remember, and Saint Asonia all would play at Fort Rock 2016.
So, I'm hopeful that this year will be no different!
Metallica, Soundgarden and Korn are all headlining ROTR 2017, and given how massive Metallica has always been, and the recent success of their brand new album, I would not be shocked if they do perform one of the two days of Fort Rock. Korn feels like a safe guess, because, as I said, they performed in 2014. It just feels like they're over due for a performance here locally.
I had half wondered if Skillet would perform, because they have never played Fort Rock, but play all over Florida, including near our area, quite regularly. So, seeing them on the ROTR lineup, makes me speculate that its possible. Sum 41 had also crossed my mind, simply because they made their massive comeback this year and I have a feeling they're going to be going out on tour, and performing at all the massive festivals next year.
My lineup predictions for Fort Rock 2017 are:
Day One; April 29, 2017:
-The Offspring -Papa Roach
-The Pretty Reckless -Alter Bridge
-Sum 41 -Taking Back Sunday
-Motionless In White -Pierce The Veil
-Starset -Nothing More
Day Two; April 30, 2017:
-Anon Amarth -In Flames
-Suicide Silence -Chevelle
-Beartooth -Coheed And Cambria
-Every Time I Die -Bush
-One Less Reason -Kyng -As Lions
I feel fairly secure in my guesses, but obviously I could be wrong. Honestly, it surprises me a bit to see Pierce The Veil in the lineup at all, but at the same time it shouldn't. They played a few festivals this year that they didn't seem to completely fit the bill for. I'm actually rather excited for them that they're not getting stuck in a box. They put on a great show, so I would really like to see them again.
As far as the bands that I really want to see seem fitting for Fort Rock based off the ROTR, there's Papa Roach, Seether, PTV, One Less Reason, Attila, Motionless In White, Starset, Nothing More, and a few others I didn't mention.
Other bands that I chose not to name here, but were speculated were Three Days Grace, Art Of Dying, Escape The Fate, In This Moment, and Halestorm. I'm not sure who all to expect, but I really do think the ROTR lineup is a big hint!
I'm extremely hopeful for Papa Roach again, as I would love to see them again. One of my absolute favorite photos that I've ever taken actually is of Jacoby Shaddix at Fort Rock 2015. So, if I could some how do that again, that would be awesome. Plus, who wouldn't like to hear their favorite song again and again?
All of the speculations will be proved true, or false on December 5, and frankly I can't wait! Stay tuned for the lineup, more content and of course, my thoughts on the real lineup. I'm actually feeling enthused to write for the first time in several months, so who knows! Maybe this will bring back the spark that has been out for a while now.
We shall see! Meanwhile, who do you want to see play a festival near you? Let us know in the comments, over on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
Six years ago yesterday, I created the Immortal Music Facebook page. A lot has changed in the last six years, including the name of the page. It all began on a little Facebook page called Music = Life. I had originally created it just to share my love of music with people who also loved music.
In the early days, that's all it was. I would post a Song Of The Day, random lyrics, pictures, and the occasional news article. I would just chat with people, and that was the extent of it. It was all just fun....that is until a friend of mine introduced me to Bryan Stars interviews. I don't remember exactly when he showed me Bryan's interviews, probably not long after the creation of the page, but it was a life changing thing.
That sounds really dramatic, but it honestly has changed my life. I'm sure I've told this story before, but there's new people around now, and its been a while, so I'm going to tell the story anyways. He showed me the first interview Bryan did with Andy Biersack, who went by Andy Six at the time. So many different thoughts came to my mind, as this was also my introduction to Black Veil Brides. As I was watching, and laughing at Andy's pure sass, a thought hit me. Why am I not doing this?
I love music, why not write about music. That's when I began doing just that. If you look far enough back on the page, you can see exactly where this all began. I however, did not look back because when I was writing this, it was almost 8 am, and I had work within the hour, so time wasn't exactly permitting a lot of searching. You can see where I started sharing interviews, and even writing very early posts. I don't remember all I posted on the page, but Immortal Music had many different stages.
I recently was reminded that I actually dabbled a little tiny bit with this concept all the way back in 2009, so in a way, Bryan Stars was just opening the door for a wind already trying to get through. Was that a weird analogy? It probably is, but I'm moving on anyway. I actually did my first interview on that page. I'm pretty sure I posted it as a note, and I know I did it over Facebook Messenger.
I would write biographies and reviews, print them out and put them in a portfolio. My goal was to go work for Alternative Press magazine, and slowly, it turned into me wanting to do my own thing.
Its been an interesting road really. Its had a lot of up's and down's, and has taught me a lot. Not only about the industry, music artists, and the music itself, but also about goals. People make your dreams / dedications/ goals sound constant, but doing this for the last six years has taught me something.
Nothing is constant.
No matter how much you love something, you will have periods where you aren't excited to work on it. Where it feels like work, so you drag your feet a little bit to get something going, or you flat out just don't feel like doing it. Its only been recently when I came to the realization that those periods are normal and important.
I can't tell you how many times I've ended up in tears because I felt guilty for not writing, or even just not wanting to write but doing it anyway. For every time I was excited to do it, and happily wrote many things in one sitting, there's at least one where I felt uninspired and writing one thing felt like a chore. You can have too much of a good thing -even when its your dream.
And that doesn't mean you're giving up, or that you've lost interest. Or that its hopeless. It simply means you're human and things come in waves. Its part of life, and you know what? That's okay.
I've finally accepted that, and it took me six years to realize its okay if you don't want to push yourself sometimes. Pushing yourself leads to burn outs, and trust me, I've gotten burned out several times over the last several years. And if you look back through the archives, you can probably see when those times were because there's gaps in between things were posted.
Sometimes those gaps came from being completely discouraged, but other times were simply just because I felt uninspired and life got in the way. That's sort of where I'm at right now, but for once I don't have that little voice in the back of my head that progressively gets louder and pushier. Normally the voice is constantly going, "Hey, stop being lazy and write. You have to do this, no excuses." But then another part of me sees that I have a reason not to. I work basically full time at this point, and try to maintain relationships with friends. Frankly, I don't always want to come home from busting my ass at work, to do more work. And I've never had someone pointing out when I didn't post something, and I finally realized why.
To everyone else this is FUN, and originally this was all for fun for me as well. Then it became so much more, and that is a beautiful thing, but you know what? So is fun. So I'm going to, at least for a while do it when I feel like it. I think its more genuinely written when I'm not forcing it, therefor more fun to read anyways, so I'm just going to do it that way.
And the reason why I'm posting this is not only because I wanted to reflect, but I wanted to let you guys know what's going on.
This is not me giving up, its me allowing myself to relax once in a while. Everyone should do that, because without that time, you just end up overworked, stressed out, uninspired and upset. That ruins a great thing, so things will be posted here and there, I'm still going to be covering shows, but I am going to relax a little bit. I hope everyone understands that.
On that note, thank you to everyone who's been there all of these years, or to anyone who's been there at all. Your support is appreciated greatly, and I hope you stick around for a long, long time. I still plan on trying to do great things, and would love to have you along for the ride.
Blogs of various topics go here, and all are written by Immortal Music's creator. You never know what you may find here, so have a look around.