Issue 1 : Interview with FLAW
Reviews on : TORNICADE / ASSISTING SORROW & News –
Now Available -OUTSPOKEN “Bitter Shovel” *Southern fried angry rock. Five-piece from right here in your own back yard Louisville KY. Not a single bad song on their debut produced by veteran rock czar Rick Parashar (3 Doors Down, Pearl Jam). Lost sons of Skynard. Can you say radio???? Hit your Local Radio Up & Request it Now! Coming at you from Lava Records- features 12 rocking Tracks—- www.Outspokenmusic.com
SUPAFUZZ ” Down For The Underground” Now available on Mine’s Bigger Than Yours Records 13 Killer live tracks of fist-in-your-face rock that only Supafuzz could deliver. Recorded at a1a in Lexington, Ky in 2002 during the bands US Tour
Ray Rizzo (Days of The New) Returns Title To rightful owner, David LaDuke- Facing new personal, local and global values for 2003, Ive decided not to continue my column for Leo. I’m returning the title of Rock Hard Rocker to its rightful owner, Louisville’s Original Ball Buster, DAVID LA DUKE, who in two years never complained about me borrowing his title. Thank you, Ball Buster
(3 track demo/CDR)
By Jonathan Mariante – This band play what they call “progressive emo”. I’m not sure what that is, so please bear with me. This “emo” stuff is totally new to me to begin with, and they’re already making “progressive emo”? What next? It’s getting hard to keep up with all these musical sub-sub-subgenres, I don’t know what’s what anymore! But anyway…Tornicade play music that is dark and emotional, slow and somber, which sounds influenced by groups like the Smashing Pumpkins and Tool. The first song on this disc, “When I Hurt”, I didn’t much care for. It’s too slow, long, and dragged out. I didn’t find it very exciting at all. However, I did think the second track, “Rats In The Wall”, was better. It’s a bit more rocking, with some crunchier guitar riffs, a la Sabbath or Type O Negative, and a pretty cool guitar solo, too. The third and last song, “Washed Away”, is a ballad, played on acoustic guitar, but it gets a little heavier at the end, and also contains a good solo. This kind of stuff is not my cup, but the band does play nicely nonetheless. For people who like their music a tad on the darker side of things. www.tornicade.com
2001 (Independent Release)
By Jonathan Mariante
This CD is a combination of Assisting Sorrow’s ’99 promo and their ’98 demo, plus a cover of King Diamond’s “The Invisible Guests”. This band combines elements of traditional, progressive, thrash, and death metal, and they do quite a good job of it. The music is melodic and powerful, thrashing at times, and on some songs they also use classical-style guitar and keyboards. In fact, three members are keyboard players, but they don’t overuse them, the way some bands do; the keyboard use is kept to a minimum on this album. There are also two vocalists; Mike Barnes on “growls”, who also plays keyboards, and guitarist/second keysman Chris Leffler on “clean vocals” (Chris is also the chief songwriter) These guys are quite talented (Chris is a very good guitarist), they play solid metal, and the different styles of metal they use gel quite well. Their music packs a punch, and the album thrashes out from start to finish! One song that stood out for me was the title track, which starts off like a ballad with classical guitar and “clean” singing from Chris, then kicks into gear for the second half, with Chris and Mike swapping vocal duties back and forth, singing in their respective styles, which makes for a good contrast between the two. As I mentioned earlier, the album contains a cover of King Diamond’s “The Invisible Guests”, which is unlisted and closes the album. They do a good job covering this King classic, too. I think they do His Dark Majesty justice! These guys are a good band, they have their own style, and they’re METAL! That’s enough to get my seal of approval!
THROUGH THE EYES OF CHRIS VOLZ
An Interview with Flaw’s Vocalist by: Don Sill
Flaw front man Chris Volz didn’t exactly have a story book childhood, in fact to most it may seem like more of a horror story than anything else. The Kentucky based rocker was adopted at the age of 2 and didn’t know, remember or love any other parents except for his adopted ones. By the time he was just 12 years old his adopted mother would commit suicide and leave her son to wallow in pain. While the scars left behind from that tragedy are still dug deep inside his soul it was the irony of life’s misery that ultimately turned a negative into a positive. All of his painful suffering and devastation would bring out the artist inside him and it was artistic expression through music that kept him alive through all the shit and struggle he went through when he was just a pre-teen.
He seeked professional help and said it helped him out tremendously with dealing with the horrific loss of his mother as well as other mishaps that happened throughout his childhood. But, music remained his true therapy, an outlet like no other that enabled him to vent his emotions on common ground with others who shared similar pains. He found solace inside of rock lyrics that seemed to know what he was feeling. Listening to bands like Journey and Rush introduced him toward a form of expression that he could identify with. He took all of his bottled-up emotions of rage, sadness and frustration and laid the frame for his intense and personal style of music.
His band, Flaw would give him the freedom he needed to pour out his angst and frustration into music. With his new family (band mates- Jason Daunt; Chris Ballinger; Lance Arny & Ryan Jurhs) contributing with their personal tastes and feelings, Flaw would form a diverse sound and take on an identity all their own. With intense live shows and hard pounding Mudvayne meets Staind style of music they would soon get the attention of Republic/Universal Records and eventually land a deal. Their Republic/Universal debut Through the Eyes truly captures the personal and emotional ups, downs and challenges that Volz lived through. His music, although personal still comes through in such a way that anyone can relate to it. Their first single Payback has been getting enormous rotation on MTV2 and Much Music as well as rock radio and thus become very successful.
I spoke with Volz while on break from touring with Kittie & Skin Lab and we spoke candidly about the new album and the personal tragedies that helped create it.
Tell me a little bit about your Republic/Universal debut, “Through the Eyes.” VOLZ: Well, I would say that it’s a very diverse album in terms of musical content.. I mean, we touch on a lot of different areas from a really straight-forward heavy metal sound to all kinds of different layers and textures.. We all like different kinds of music and so we didn’t want to make an album with one kind of sound, we wanted it to be very diverse because life is like that. There’s times when you feel angry, when you feel sad, when you feel happy or even lost.. We wanted to incorporate all those feelings into a sound that would actually give the industry a hard time of labeling us.. But, you know they’ll label you anyway.. (Laughs) VOLZ: Yeah, (Laughs) some people in the industry are calling us nu-metal.. Spelling it- N- U metal? What is that? I still have yet to quite understand the full definition of that.. (Laughs) Nobody likes to be pigeon holed into a particular genre.. VOLZ: Well, they’re gonna do it regardless, but the more you could avoid that the more you can allow people to make their own decisions and not categorize something before they even had a chance to hear it. Where does the inspiration for your music come from? VOLZ: Life, man.. I mean, it’s a very wide spectrum.. Lyrically, everything that I use as my inspiration is everything I went through as a child all the way to issues I deal with every day now and just things I feel are important. As a band, we don’t want to do anything that will make us feel superficial, it’s really more for ourselves.. We write the material and the music more for ourselves than for anyone else. The album does seem to be extremely personal. VOLZ: It is personal, but for all of us. The material is written as a group and the lyrics are all written by me. It’s really like therapy for us all, ya know. It’s a way for us to get out exactly what we feel or exactly what we believe without feeling like we’re being judged. What kind of mindset are you in when you sit down to write lyrics? VOLZ: It’s kind of back and forth for me.. Would I rather write lyrics when I’m feeling emotional? Yes. Because I think that it’s a lot easier to be honest with yourself at that point, but I can also kind of put myself back into a time when I was emotional and write from there. What song on this album would you say best describes you? VOLZ: Hmm.. Probably the track called “Get Up Again” just because I feel it’s kinda the theme of my life. It’s about never letting one thing or one circumstance get the best of you and try to turn a negative around into something positive. So, whether it was because I was adopted or my Mom’s suicide when I was younger or having to take my Dad to court so I could take charge of my life.. That song kinda stands for dealing with life’s problems and never feeling sorry for yourself and actually coming out on top. Your mother committed suicide? Was that your birth mother or your adopted mother? VOLZ: That was my adopted mom, but I was adopted when I was 2 years old, so I don’t have any memory of anyone else. Up until I was told that I was adopted I really thought that she was my real Mom.. Kinda a catch 22 there.. It hurt like hell, man.. Well, your mother’s suicide and all of those other horrible experiences that you went through must really come through in your art. VOLZ: Yeah, I definitely think it’s important too.. One of the things that music has lost and rock has lost from the 80’s to now is that sense of personal honesty in the music. More singers today are worried about how they appear to the public or making themselves seem rich and the music lost it’s feel of honesty and self renewal and the whole form of therapy. Rock needs to get a little more personal and needs to get back to the sense of relating to people. I want to make the kind of music that you listen to it and get chills off it.