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Mikey Buchta

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Having this job as an interviewer certainly has its perks including free records and free shows, but one of the absolute best parts is meeting the bands and getting to know them on a more personal level. Having said that, this was my second interview of the year with Whitechapel and this time had the chance to sit down with drummer Ben Harclerode. Ben is also known as “New Guy” because well, A. he is the new guy in the band and B. there’s already another Ben in the band. Not only did I get to interview Ben, but also hang out with him and bass player Gabe Crisp for a few hours. While we watched TV, Ben gave a drum lesson to a French guy who gave him a case of 24 Stella tall boys, then we smoked some fine sticky icky after I called my buddy Kron down to hook us up. Here’s how the chat went.

Take a dash of punk, add a shot of electronic and a pinch of pop and you have yourselves the insane Enter Shikari. Enter Shikari are 4 young gents from England who have made something completely unique and captivating with their music. They just finished a tour supporting The Devil Wears Prada on their Dead Throne Tour along side Whitechapel and For Today. They are looking forward to the new year and the release of their newest record, A Flash Flood Of Colour.

A few things come to mind when you hear the words “The Devil Wears Prada” and generally it’s one of three things… shitty movie, great book or awesome band. Of course I am talking about the band in this case. Album after album, The Devil Wears Prada has been exploding for the past few years; they got immense success after the release of their Zombie EP, a concept album about the zombie apocalypse. I had a chance to sit down with singer and guitarist Jeremy while on a stop in Toronto.

“Took the cannonball down to the ocean, across the desert from the sea to shining sea. I rode a ladder that climbed across the nation, fifty million feet of earth Between The Buried And Me”. Such picturesque lyrics written by The Counting Crows, perfectly portrayed and fitting for the boys of Between The Buried And Me.

These days there are almost as many sub genres as metal bands themselves. Things from metalcore to death metal to sludge, one of the newest sub genre is djent. Djent is a progressive metal styled coined by Meshuggah and brought to the forefront by Periphery. The name is an onomatopoeia for heavily palm-muted, distorted chords, one of the latest bands taking on the sound of Djent is TesseracT. TesseracT are 4 blokes from England and a newly recruited Yankee named…

The Contortionist guitarist Robby Baca may be very young, but he’s already making a name for himself and band as part of the new wave of progressive metal acts surfacing from the States. With such a diverse sound one would think he uses a bunch of crazy gear to capture all the tones; however, Robby keeps it simple, using his clean channel, a lot of ambient progressions and the Boss Delay and Chorus pedals to beef up those melodic parts and make them shine. Here’s what he said about his gear.

There is just as much music out in the world as there are different types of food, movies and opinions on whether or not the moon landing was fake, but with all those differences there are plenty of similarities; stepping outside of the box with musical ideas can be a gamble these days but Awolnation seemed to embrace the challenge. Awolnation was the brain child of Aaron Bruno, a young man who has been in prior successful bands yet never tapped into his full potential. Releasing Megalithic Symphony earlier this year, people have been noticing and appreciating his art form which has been classified by some as “Danger Pop”, which makes him laugh.

There is a staggering number of metal bands today playing the same old stuff. Freshness isn’t as prevalent as it should be, but some groups do step out of the mold. One of these such bands is The Contortionist, five young lads from Noblesville, Indiana who are just in their early 20’s, but already have the skills of the bands they idolized growing up. Recently the guys came to Toronto supporting Periphery and I had a chance to sit down with guitarist Robby Baca and talk about the music and the hype behind the band.

Whitechapel has only been around for the last 5 years and already they have made a big impact in the metal scene. Hailing from Knoxville Tennessee, the boys in Whitechapel have released 3 albums, 5 music videos and toured a countless amount of times as a headlining act. I got to sit down with guitarist Alex and talk about the bands rise to success in such a short time.

Thrice are one of those bands that really can’t put out a bad record. Each one of their releases has been ear pleasing and full of passion (to me personally at least). They’ve been a band who is 100% into taking chances and trying new things and since their release of Vheissu in 2005, the band has not only stepped out of the box, but have smashed the box and burned it’s remains.