I decided to go a variety of directions this week, beginning with a band, as the title states, most of you never guessed was an “Indie” Band, not only from the US, (One of the most successful ‘Indie’ Bands in the US, currently) but from the capitol of my “Home State”, Iowa.
The band gets steady rotation on many of the nation’s “Modern Rock”, College, and Independent Stations, including 107.9 FM and 102.7 FM-The Blaze from Waterloo and Northwood, IA.
Seriously, if you like edgy solid well-crafted American “Radio” Rock, you’ll like this band…a lot. They “kick it” hard, yet remain very listenable.
What’s not to like about a combination like that? This is especially profound, as they’ve maintained their ‘Indie’ status, and become successful either because or in spite of it.
The huge and growing Fan base don’t seem to care.
[Just an aside, about the structure of these articles, they have evolved into a combination of totally “off the top of my head” commentary & observation, (I’m sure the more observant of folks who know me can probably tell…Hi-Ho!) and compilations, images, and Video Links from a variety of sources, usually requiring some-to much editing on my part. (Some of the foreign entries, though in English (sort of), need A LOT of work).
The purists may object to that. I don’t really care. It’s really about the music. If the Bio says it well enough, I’m a believer in not fixing what isn't broke. Most of the time, however it needs a lot of TLC.
That seems to work well enough.]
From The MySpace Bio[Edited by DRD]:
When we last saw Stone Sour, the triple-Grammy nominated group was playing sold-out shows around the planet in support of 2006’s critically acclaimed Come What(ever) May, a sonic blockbuster that entered Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart at No. 4 and went on to sell more than a half-million copies on the strength of three radio hits, including the No. 1 smash single, "Through Glass.”
Billboard hailed the record as “an intense, taut piece of work,” Alternative Press called the group “masters of ass-kicking,” adding, “In a better America, Stone Sour would be the face of American rock,” and Revolver magazine gave the disc four stars and praised the quintet for “demonstrating a dynamic range equaled by few of their peers.”
Four years later, the quintet (vocalist Corey Taylor, guitarists James Root and Josh Rand, bassist Shawn Economaki and drummer Roy Mayorga) have returned with a broadened range, a deepened perspective and the determination to make the new album: AUDIO SECRECY, a multi-layered record, free of stylistic limitations.
“It’s everything I've ever wanted to do on one album,” says Taylor. “It's heavy, it's melodic, it’s dark, it’s slow, it’s light and it’s beautiful. You’ll hear something different with each listen.”
The group recorded AUDIO SECRECY with Come What(ever) May producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Deftones) at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios.
When they weren’t working on the album, they spent their free time living in a spook-filled crash pad. "That house put us through hell,” laughs Taylor. “It was really old, so everything was broken down and leaking and infested with wasps and spiders. I'd get lost because there were so many damn rooms. It was like living in the Haunted Mansion at Disney World. It did keep us in the right mood, though, so maybe we should thank it in the liner notes."
Stone Sour does a lot of things brilliantly—and they do most of them on AUDIO SECRECY, beginning with “Mission Statement,” an electrifying track that breaks from the gate with white-knuckle intensity. “It punches you in the face and drags you by the hair like a caveman," laughs Taylor. Prior to the album’s release, the band offered “Mission Statement” as a free download. Fans responded en masse and the track was downloaded more than a 1,000 times an hour within a two day period.
Among AUDIO SECRECY’s endless highlights is “Say You’ll Haunt Me,” a heavy-with-melody rock track that best exemplifies the band’s ability to pull in fans from cross-pollinating directions. At the album’s centerpiece is “Hesitate,” an epic “November Rain”-ish type track that’s both melodic and melancholic with orchestral strings and a soaring chorus.
About the song’s emotion, Taylor says, “Lyric-wise, I’m writing from a more personal space here. Whether talking about a relationship or being a father or finding my soul mate, I’m putting it out there for everyone to hear and feel and see if anybody can relate.”
The album’s title is a play on words for idiosyncrasy. “I’m a fan of double meanings and metaphorical speak,” muses Taylor. “There are so many levels to what those two words combined could mean. As a title, it perfectly fit the album.”
For guitarist Josh Rand, the track “The Pessimist” holds a special significance. "It's the heaviest song we've done up to this point. I spent a day and a half studying the Hindu scale for the lead. The guitar solo for that song has a very Eastern sound." The song sees Rand shredding with a precise, powerful solo that's melodic and metallic. All the while, it preserves a unique feel.
"The great thing about Stone Sour is that we’ve got five writers in the band and the sound is like different pieces of cloth coming together to form a blanket," says Taylor. "All you have to do is pull the strings a little tighter to bring those pieces together. Everyone in the band brought in material and we came up with an album that's really alive."
"Threadbare" was written by Mayorga and marks a songwriting debut for the drummer. "The band was really cool and encouraged me to throw some music into the hat," he says. "It's one of the longer, weirder and darker tracks on the record. I'm thrilled everyone embraced it and made it a Stone Sour song. It's very progressive, and it makes for a nice little rollercoaster ride."
Economaki goes deeper into the track, adding, "It's absolutely epic. It's got clean melodies and it modulates. It takes the listener to a whole different dimension.”
In addition, Stone Sour's trademark dual guitar assault became even tougher, with Jim Root and Josh recording simultaneously.
There was no need for them to over-digitize parts or go back and water everything down with Pro Tools. Taking an old school approach, both guitarists entered the booth and ripped away. Says Rand, "We're like five guys playing in a garage and it reflects in the music. There's a song for every mood you can possibly go through in a day."
“This album really represents everything we’ve been threatening to do,” says Taylor. “It has so many different vibes and styles…it’s probably the best thing I’ve done in a long time.” That’s a helluva statement considering Taylor’s resume, which includes his “other gig” as the lead singer of multi-platinum Grammy winning band Slipknot (Root also pulls double-duty, playing guitar for both groups).
“I'm not trying to change the world, I just want to make music and get some s**t off my chest,” smiles Taylor. “But at the end of the day, I hope people dig this record. I hope they grab onto something that they want to sing all day. I hope it gets them excited. I hope it makes them think and I hope it makes them want to start their own bands. I hope it makes them happy and most important of all, I hope they feel that it was worth the wait."
Stone Sour Videos:
Haunt Me in HD: http://youtu.be/eEn-nTkbEM0?hd=1
Through Glass: http://youtu.be/3phsIEmKWbw
Hesitate-From New Album: http://youtu.be/qrv6sa0PrtU
Made Of Scars: http://youtu.be/_tmxCRRmNhM
I seriously hope you start with the MySpace page and explore this band, as well as keep an eye for them in the future. They have a lot going for them.
Kandia grew to a full band due to the demand for players in live venues. The core is the talented duo of Nya and Andre, a couple from Portugal, who enamored by American & UK “Prog” Bands like Tool & Pink Floyd, as well as American style 80’s Metal.
I wish there were more good videos to share, but they’re relatively new, though not likely to disappear anytime soon.
I would venture, on the strength of their new album, “Inner Beauty/Outer Reflection”, this year will be a pivotal one for them.
I think the rest of the planet will like them, especially N America, as they’ve taken the influence of a couple of our best exports, and made it theirs.
They’re NOT a “sounds like” band, at all. But those who inadvertently were their influences would like them.
I expect great things from these folks.
Official Bio from the Band Site (with heavy editing by DRD):
In November 2007 a new rock band was born.
Nya and Andre decided to join forces on a project they would name Kandia “to obfuscate, to blind by light”.
Influenced by progressive rock bands such as A Perfect Circle, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, & metal giants such as Metallica & Pantera, the band was capable of finding a unique sound joining all these influences.
Only a few months after they started producing their new songs, Kandia recorded two of them at home: “Grown Up” and a cover from the 80's hit “My Sharona”. Soon they were filled with requests on their MySpace page and decided it was time to get things done the right way.
The two members entered the studio on July 2008 to record their first EP - “Light” with Daniel Cardoso (Head Control System) as producer. Daniel would also fill in as drummer in the band, and record the piano tracks as well. The EP was released through web on August and officially launched on October.
As the band considered it important to have a good image, they decided to have a photo session, and take responsibility for the artwork on the EP, which they feel, 'till this day, very proud of.
Light was highly acclaimed by Fans AND Critics.
On may 2009, Kandia entered the studio to record their debut album “Inward Beauty|Outward Reflection”. The album presents nine new songs and a remake from “Rise”. The song was chosen by MySpace Friends to be re-recorded on the album. Charon's front man was invited to sing on Kandia's song “Reflections”, which was released as a single online for free.
This was also a time of change for the band as Daniel Silva joined to fill the slot on drums. The band started playing live in April 2010. , as Kandia became officially a four piece live band.
Nya, Andre, Bernardo & Daniel are now aiming for a bigger goal, to play abroad and take something more out of their debut album.
"Inward Beauty|Outward Reflection" caught the attention of BitOrg's CEO Masa Kishimoto, & Kandia signed a deal for a Japanese edition of the album coming released January 2011.
2011 will be the year of changes and risks. Stay tuned.
A Recent Review On The Inward Beauty/Outward Reflection Album By Via Nocturna:
Review IB|OR - Via Nocturna (ENG)
Imagined and created by the minds of Nya Cruz and Andre, Kandia debuted with Light, an EP released in 2008 (including a first version of Rise that reappears here), then publishing Inward Beauty|Outward Reflection, their first LP, earlier this year.
Stylistically the duo approaches melodic metal, without going too Gothic, which often happens with female-fronted bands, adding a high dose of romanticism with notable guitar density and an adequate dose of electronic keys that make the songs more interesting, vibrant and appealing.
The guitars have an important performance in terms of harmonic sections, riffs, and solos, which are well placed and perfectly executed.
In addition to the guitar work, the voice of Nya Cruz (sounding close to Cristina Scabbia) stands out with excellent pitch, dynamics and melody. There’s an excellent duet with J. P. Leppäluoto (of Charon) in the song Reflections.
Pedro Mendes performs the solo in Paranoia, Daniel Cardoso plays drums and piano throughout the album, and Ze Puto performs tablas on Waste My Time, redolent of its Mediterranean/Middle Eastern influences.
Lacuna Coil was a powerful influence in the studio, along with the excellent production Daniel Cardoso, UltraSound Studios, and an accomplished level of songwriting and performance by the duo. [Edited for Grammar & Continuity by DRD.]
Into Your Hands in HD: http://youtu.be/1sakmVghMfE?hd=1
Hold On To Me (Acoustic HD): http://youtu.be/Tz1iq51ZOrQ?hd=1
Silbermond (Silver Moon):
Okay, before you light up the torches and grab the farm implements, I KNOW they sing all their songs in German/Deutsch. They’re from Bavaria-who’d have “thunk” it?
But they’re so polished and compelling, when watching a video, it’s almost (Remember…I said ALMOST) easy to forget.
Fortunately, the first two bio information blurbs existed in English at Answers.com & Wikipedia, which only required editing for grammar. The official biography came from an Austrian Fan Mirror site. Google had enough of a challenge with the base translation, I had to squirm through the rest.
But their work is worthy of the high praise I give it. I hope enough folks join me in my appreciation of Stephanie & Company, they do some stuff in English for their American cousins. (You think I’m joking about that, I’ve got a shirt-tale relative in Munich named Herbert-who knew-right?)
So, fill a stein with your favorite barley brew, close your eyes, and take a “click-trip” back to the Fatherland.
Bio From Answers.com:
German Rock Band: Silbermond formed in Bautzen in 2000. Lead vocalist Stefanie "Pony" Kloß(Kloss), guitarist Thomas "Ratte" Stolle, bassist Johannes "Hannes" Stolle, and drummer Andreas "Nowi" Nowak previously teamed in a local choir project dubbed Ten Sing.
Originally calling themselves JAST -- an acronym assembled from the quartet's respective first names -- they made the switch to Silbermond (Silver Moon) in 2001 concurrent with a shift away from cover songs to original material.
After a high-profile January 2004 opening gig for singer Jeanette Biedermann, outsized expectations awaited the group's debut LP, Verschwende Deine Zeit, and sales did not disappoint. The album went quintuple platinum on the strength of the Top Five single "Symphonie," and on July 2, 2005, Silbermond performed on the Berlin stage of the international Live8 concert event. Their sophomore effort, Laut Gedacht, hit retail in the spring of 2006, debuting atop the German and Austrian charts. The album also launched Silbermond's first number one single, "Das Beste." ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Silbermond's band members originally met in 1998 when they participated in the music project Ten Sing. Two years later, they decided to form their own group, and as a result they began performing locally under the name Jast (composed by the initial letters of band members.). In 2001, they changed their name to Silbermond, simultaneously concentrating on songs in German language for the first time.
In January 2004 the group got the chance to perform as opening act for singer Jeanette Biedermann.
Afterwards, they released their first single "Mach's Dir Selbst", followed-up by their debut album Verschwende deine Zeit, which was eventually certified double platinum in Germany and Austria and spawned three further singles, including top 5 hit "Symphonie".
At the end of 2004 the band went on tour, and in April 2005 they published their first concert DVD Verschwende Deine Zeit - Live, which reached gold status.
Ich Bereue Nichts: http://youtu.be/5rbVv9kBgSI
Das Beste: http://youtu.be/cqcXnjAx7dk
Durch Die Nacht: http://youtu.be/3fXkngQhtJM
Des Ende Vom Kreis: http://youtu.be/X5NApPbvmfs
Irgendwas Bleibt: http://youtu.be/9sfknBJlmoo
Meer Sein: http://youtu.be/oMKLNuay5GM
Kreiger Des Lichts: http://youtu.be/Rf4dKoBHsHg