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Those Mockingbirds Release ‘Penny The Dreadful’ LP

penny-large mockingbirdsIt’s July the 1st, and for us, that means summer is in full swing. We’ve been so busy that the season has snuck up on us, and here we are without an album of the summer to call our own yet. Well, contender number one has just dropped. It’s called Penny the Dreadful and it’s by our old friends Those Mockingbirds. New Jersey’s finest have been building a formidable set of songs for this, their debut LP, and it is worth the wait. It’s rock and roll that revels in the guitars, drawing inspiration as much from current modern rock as from the great melodic guitar slashers from the ’90s, including Stone Temple Pilots (with better lyrics) and the often overlooked Hum. Get it on iTunes now – it could be your go-to summer rocker. thosemockingbirds.com

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Skate And Surf Lineup; Ticket Information

Skate And Surf Festival is under a month away, and those hoping to catch the Summer kickoff event of the year need to act fast if they want to secure tickets.

Taking place on May 18 and 19, Skate And Surf 2013 will welcome over two dozen performers and over ten thousand screaming music fans to Freehold, NJ. Check out ticket information here and view the full lineup below. Continue reading ‘Skate And Surf Lineup; Ticket Information’

Bayside Selling Benefit T-Shirt For Victims Of Hurricane Sandy

Earlier this week, Hurricane Sandy ripped through the Northeast coast, wreaking havoc on New Jersey, New York City, and all of the surrounding states. Artists and bands have been quick to respond to this disaster, planning various benefit shows, merch specials, and fundraisers. Punk rock band Bayside are among those lending a helping hand.

The Long Island, Queens, and Manhattan natives are selling a limited edition benefit shirt to help their families, friends, and communities who were affected by the hurricane. As stated on their website, “all proceeds will be donated to the Greater New York American Red Cross.” This disaster has been tragic for many, including the members of Bayside, who have lost friends and family members to the storm. So if you’re feeling generous click here to contribute to a good cause.

If you like Bayside, then you might also like OurStage’s own August Ruins.

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Bruce Springsteen To Headline NBC Benefit Concert For Hurricane Sandy Victims

While Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path through the East Coast delayed or cancelled almost all live music events in the Mid-Atlantic tri-state area, there is one show that will still go on. This Friday, Jersey boys Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi will play a massive televised benefit concert to benefit those affected by the record-breaking storm. Billy Joel, Sting, and Christina Aguilera will reportedly join the Garden State natives at the show, which will broadcast live on at 8 p.m. EST on NBC and NBC.com, as well as network affiliates USA Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, E!, Style Network, and G4. All proceeds from the telethon will go to the American Red Cross, which has been assisting victims in the aftermath of its devastating landfall this past Monday. Last night, at a concert in upstate New York, Springsteen dedicated “My City of Ruins” from his album The Rising to the storm-battered Asbury Park, the seaside New Jersey town where he and his band gigged regularly at the beginning of their career. To quote another appropriate song from The Boss, the Jersey faithful always seem to take care of their own.

If you dig Springsteen, check out OurStage artist Blake Guthrie!

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Bamboozle 2012: Back to the Beach

For the past six years, fans of all musical genres have flocked to the Bamboozle Festival at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. They endured the rain, the blistering heat, the outrageous food prices and the  pain of standing for hours on end, but—at the end of the third day—they left the stadium parking lot with ears ringing and faces grinning.

Before East Rutherford, however, Bamboozle was located in Asbury Park, New Jersey and was known as the Skate & Surf Festival. Similar to the Vans Warped Tour, Skate & Surf was a twelve-hour event featuring over forty bands. The indoor festival featured such prominent “scene” bands as Allister, The Movielife and From Autumn to Ashes. In the years that followed, the newly-named Bamboozle Festival grew larger and larger, featuring performances from some of the biggest acts in pop, rock and rap.

This year, Bamboozle creator John D’Esposito is on a mission to bring back the intimate feel of Skate & Surf, while also booking high-profile performers from all genres. Headliners like Bon Jovi, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Incubus and Mac Miller appeal to a wide audience, while smaller “niche” bands like the recently-reunited The Receiving End of Sirens, The Wonder Years and Like Moths to Flames will certainly draw their own crowds. In celebration of the festival’s tenth anniversary, D’Esposito even moved Bamboozle back to Asbury Park, where concert-goers can enjoy scenic ocean views instead of a crowded parking lot. And what would a party on the Jersey Shore be without a performance from DJ Pauly D?

What else is different for 2012? Here are a few of Bamboozle’s biggest changes:

  • Get your rice ready: The Rocky Horror Picture Show…starring Bamboozle performers? Needless to say, it will be hilarious.
  • No more tickets: The Bamboozle will use electronic wristbands instead of paper tickets. The wristbands will help staff to keep track of the crowds and eliminates the need for attendees to bring cash.
  • Higher admission prices: Moving the festival to Asbury Park was not cheap. Neither was bringing on some of the biggest names in popular music today. Accordingly, admission prices are significantly higher this year (three-day passes are $81 more than last year), but the increase will still probably be worth every penny.
  • Linc’s Very Special Guest: “Linc’s Special Guest” is a performer that shows up for a surprise set during Bamboozle. Past performers have included everyone from Jack’s Mannequin to Journey. But this year, Linc’s guest is “Very Special,” and is a Sunday night headliner. Rumors have been swirling for weeks, with the most popular guesses being Bruce Springsteen and Nicki Minaj.

Bamboozle 2012 will be held May 18-20 in Asbury Park’s North Beach area. More wristband purchases and more information, check out their official Web site.

Never been to Bamboozle? This trailer from the 2011 Bamboozle Documentary gives you a taste of what this epic weekend is like. You can watch the full documentary here.

Q&A With The Bouncing Souls

There are plenty of ways to commemorate a successful career: compilation albums, tribute concerts, limited-edition merch…and if you aren’t a musician, probably an office party with ice cream cake. But the Bouncing Souls are one-upping everyone this summer, playing through their entire collection of studio albums in a slew of four-night punk extravaganzas in cities around the world. We sat down with Souls frontman Greg Attonito to talk about why the time was right for this eight-city tour, the ability to stay relevant for more than twenty years and how even in the digital age, the Jersey-based four piece is still repping the DIY lifestyle.

OS: While a lot of bands who have been together as long as the Souls would choose to commemorate their career with a retrospective album, you guys decided to do a tour where you played through all of your albums. What was the inspiration behind that?

GA: We have been talking about playing all our records live for years so it was just a matter of time. This year at our Home for the Holidays shows in Asbury Park, we decided it was time. It was a lot of memory work re-learning a lot of songs we haven’t played in years, but it really paid off. It ended up going over really well for us and for the audience I think. So…Why not take it on the road! So that’s what we decided to do.

OS: You’re playing in just eight cities, but the tour is taking you all over the world. What determined the lucky eight tour destinations— were they places that held some significance to the band?

GA: We chose cities that we have had consistently good shows in over the years. We also wanted to work with promoters that were enthusiastic about the idea. So… those are the Lucky eight cities!

OS: The Souls and Chunksaah have always had a very DIY attitude—you had to be resourceful and creative about touring in the pre-Internet age. What does that DIY attitude translate to in 2011?

GA: In more difficult economic times I think we are forced to become more DIY in all parts of our lives from the food we eat to the music we make. Most of us are working more and earning less so we really have to be more practical than ever…but I think its good for all of us because most of us have been living pretty wasteful lifestyles. So I’m glad we as the BS family have learned how to be as DIY as we can. We need that knowledge and attitude now more than ever.

OS: How do you feel about the industry now? Did you prefer the days when you got the word out about shows through flyers in record store windows, or are you a fan of doing that online through social networking?

GA: It feels like industry is in labor right now about to give birth to a new way of doing things, so it’s a trying time. I don’t want to repeat the past but I do sometimes miss how simple things were when we first started. The challenge is to carry that spirit on! I’m not a fan of social networking but I do have a Facebook page and I appreciate how convenient it is to inform people about new music/live shows etc. I’m not into it enough to Twitter and I’m also not interested in posting my every life movement. Overall though the Internet is a great thing for all of us to communicate quickly and for free!

OS: What about your fan base? It seems like you’ve stayed relevant to fans who span several generations. Why do you think your music is as popular with forty-somethings as it is with pre-teens?

GA: It’s a cliche, but we “strike a chord” that goes beyond age I think. Our music is for the heart, and it helps us all remember we are not alone and we are here in life to enjoy ourselves and live for each other. Why wouldn’t people come back for that? That’s why all of us band members keep coming back.

OS: You guys don’t reinvent yourselves as often as some musicians do, but there have been some significant changes in The Souls’ music over your career. What are some of the biggest changes you’ve gone through over the last two decades?

GA: We have intentionally tinkered with our writing styles over the years by including producers in the process. It has been great in some ways and not so great in some ways but we have learned a lot throughout. All that we have learned we are putting into the new songs we have been writing. The main focus is to enjoy ourselves every step of the way.

Since you mentioned re-inventing ourselves it might be a good time to let you know about my new solo record! Its called Natural Disaster and will be coming out on Chunksaah records this summer. It was fun for me to get completely out of the Bouncing Souls writing dynamic, get a fresh perspective and see what happens. The record sounds great and I have a renewed attitude toward creating new BS music. It will be fun to see how people respond to it because its not like BS music.

OS: Now that you’ve been together more than twenty years, do you have any advice you wish you could give your teenage selves? Anything you wish you did differently?

GA: No. I wouldn’t do anything differently. I would probably tell me teenage self not to be so stressed out, be honest with yourself and take the time to learn how to be comfortable with just being myself…Thats probably it. But my teenage self probably wouldn’t have listened to my forty-year-old self! [Laughs]

Interested in catching the Souls as they play through all their albums this summer? Check out the band’s Web site for a list of the upcoming tour dates.

Get Lyrical: Joanna Burns’ “Philadelphia”

Joanna Burns is pulling a Frank Sinatra on all of us. Like the iconic swing artist, Burns is a native of New Jersey. (Hazlet, New Jersey to be exact, which she notes is also the same town that gave us Jersey Shore’s Sammi Sweetheart. Lucky girl.) But much like Frankie, the songstress isn’t singing about the Garden State from which she hails. While Ol’ Blue Eyes planned to make a brand new start of it in NYC, she looked West, to the city of brotherly love, for inspiration.

Burns wrote the lyrics to “Philadelphia” as she sat in her high school music theory class. She had applied to the musical theater program at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and was waiting anxiously to hear their response. She makes her impatience clear in the song’s opening lines: “I’ve been waiting for an answer/But I’m getting tired/I’ve been waiting for a green light/That says I can start the next four years of my life.” If she seems more preoccupied than most high school seniors, she had good reason—a confident Burns had decided to put all of her cheesesteaks in one basket and only applied to the U of the Arts.

During that waiting period, thoughts of Philly consumed her life. “Of course, since I was harping and dwelling on hearing from them, everything around started to seem like a sign,” she says. “‘Oh look! A Philadelphia Flyers bumper sticker! That’s a sign. I’m getting in!’” She notes that her obsession is funny in retrospect, but it definitely explains the song’s chorus, where Burns croons, “Philadelphia’s everywhere/It’s in my face and draws me near/The city of big brotherly love watching down on me.”

Burns delivers lines like, “Don’t you pity me, don’t humor me/I know where I’ll end up now,” with all the confidence of a high school senior ready to take on the world, but despite her bravado the singer wasn’t accepted to her dream school. Of course, it’s not all bad. “Everything happens for a reason,” she says. “I don’t know that I would have written half the songs I did if I went away to college that year.”

Give “Philadelphia” a listen below, and be sure to check out Burns’ upcoming album The Green Year.

Have an interesting story behind your lyrics? Let us know at pr@ourstage.com!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: Best Of OurStage 2010

This year was certainly a huge one for rock on OurStage. Our 2010 competitions allowed winning artists to play with incredible acts, such as Bon Jovi, Hanson, the Goo Goo Dolls, Mayday Parade, Anberlin and John Mayer.

Outside of the site, our artists have received national radio airplay, scored festival performance sets and had songs placed in TV shows, commercials and movie trailers. From experimental to pop punk, here are 10 of the best OurStage rock artists from 2010!

The Worsties

The Worsties

It takes a very talented band to be able to reach the Number 1 spot on the Best of Rock Charts, and The Worsties kept that spot for 20 weeks! After having their songs placed on MTV and Oxygen, the band won the coveted opening spot for Bon Jovi and Kid Rock in Chicago. Take a listen to “What’s Her Face” in the player below—we guarantee you’ll be headbanging with this female-fronted rock outfit in no time.

Eclectic Approach

As their name suggests, Seattle’s Eclectic Approach pull from a variety of influences to make funky pop rock that is sure to get you off your feet. Meeting somewhere between Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas, Eclectic Approach have got it all— tight beats, catchy hooks, sweet guitar licks and smooth vocals. This year was a big for these guys thanks to six Top 10 wins, including two in the “Shout It Out with HANSON” Competition (they ended up opening for the trio in Portland, OR). Check out “Cool” in the player below and be sure to add it to your next party playlist!

Again and Again

They’ve played at the Vans Warped Tour, sold over 150,000 records and had their album mixed by top modern rock producer Marc Hudson (Chiodos, Saves the Day). They’re Again and Again from Renton, WA and they’re shaping up to be the next big electronic pop rock act. While competing in the “SUBWAY Fresh Artists” Competition (they finished in the Top 10 for their region), the bad was out on tour across the US. Listen to “Excuse This Honesty” in the player below and get ready to mark your calendars with future tour dates!

Take One Car live at Bamboozle

Take One Car

Millerton, NY’s experimental rock group Take One Car have had an extremely successful year. Having released their full-length album When the Ceiling Meets The Floor last year, the band set out to tour and promote their effort as much as possible in 2010. Their hard work paid off when they were selected to perform TWICE at New Jersey’s Bamboozle festival in May (once at Hoodwink, covering At The Drive-In, and a daytime set on Saturday, as themselves). The group followed their Bamboozle performances with more touring, competing in Airwalk Unsigned Hero Contest and opening for the likes of VersaEmerge and The Gay Blades. Check out “The Menagerie” in the player below and be sure to stay tuned, because these guys (and girl) will be releasing a new album next year! They’ve also been invited back to Bamboozle for 2011, so don’t miss their set!

Transmit Now

Can you imagine watching the People’s Choice Awards and hearing your song play as Hugh Jackman accepts his award for Best Action Hero? Well, Tampa, Florida’s pop rock group Transmit Now experienced it in 2010. Additionally, they were featured in J-14 Magazine as a weekly “Hot Band” and released their first full-length album, Downtown Merry-Go-Round. Listen to “Let’s Go Out Tonight” in the player below and blast it on your next night out!

Bronze Radio Return

Bronze Radio Return won fans over in 2010 with their smooth and sultry indie rock. With a warm acoustic sound, Bronze Radio Return are easily compared to Damien Rice and Coldplay. They won the coveted John Mayer “Side Stage Warfare” Competition for the Boston date and racked up four more Top 10 wins in Acoustic, Indie Rock and Modern Rock Channels. Check out “Digital Love” in the player below by BRR, a band that MySpace Records calls one of the best unsigned groups.

Cedar Avenue

Minneapolis acoustic rock outfit Cedar Avenue had great success on OurStage this year. They opened for Hanson in Milwaukee, had their song placed on ABC’s Cougartown and had eight Top 10 wins on the site, including the “SUBWAY Fresh Artists” Competition for their region. Fronted by husband and wife team Derrin and Jesse Mathews, Cedar Avenue has also opened for sold out crowds at Augustana, A Fine Frenzy and Graham Colton concerts. Check out “Up North” in the player below and get ready to rock!

Orange Avenue

Orange Avenue

From one avenue to the next, pop rock group Orange Avenue was named as one of MTV’s newest Buzzworthy bands for 2010. They’ve shared the stage with the All American Rejects, Rihanna, Smash Mouth and more, and had three Top 10 wins on OurStage, including one for their region in the “SUBWAY Fresh Artists” Competition. They also had their music featured on “MLB Tonight” and their video for “Just Refrain” was played at the Winter Olympics. Listen to the track in the player below and be on the lookout for Orange Avenue on MTV and on the radio!

The Appreciation Post

After being named Alternative Press’ Top Unsigned Band in 2009, The Appreciation Post took 2010 by storm. In addition to releasing two EPs, the group also competed in the “Converse Battle of the Bands” Competition and took home the title of champion after opening for Mayday Parade and Anberlin. Check out the synth-heavy “The Beating of a Lifetime” in the player below and check out the band’s webstore for awesome deals and free music!

The Black Rabbits

Indie rock group The Black Rabbits spent 2010 as both the winners of a year’s worth of guitar strings from Ernie Ball and one of our Needle in the Haystack artists. They were subsequently signed to Rock Ridge Music and have been working hard putting together their debut album! Listen to “Emotion” in the player below and stay tuned for new music coming soon!

We’re already looking forward to meeting the next rock stars of 2011! Who were your favorite OS rock artists this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: My Chemical Romance’s “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys”

In an age where many rock bands buy into trends and disappear into the crowd, New Jersey’s My Chemical Romance have always pushed the envelope and dared to stand out. Each of the band’s releases have been built on a strong vision, and the band has reinvented themselves time and time again, both musically and aesthetically. Garnering a massive legion of fans known as the MCRmy, My Chem have been the go-to band for dark lyrics, gothic makeup and screaming vocals since their 2002 debut, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.

That is…until now. True to form, My Chem have evolved yet again on their eagerly-anticipated fourth studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. A band who is theatrical as their music, My Chem literally become a different band with each album.

MCR, Phase 1

Leaving behind their marching band uniforms from their days as Italian rock group The Black Parade in 2006, the band have now emerged as the Killjoys. Led by frontman/mastermind Gerard Way, the band are ray gun-wielding outlaws from the year 2019 (who aren’t afraid to wear a little color). The Killjoys are fighting against Better Living Industries, the Big Brother organization that is keeping their hometown—Battery City—bland, boring and under control. But the Killjoys, who individually call themselves Party Poison (Way), Kobra Kid (bassist Mikey Way), Fun Ghoul (guitarist Frank Iero) and Jet Star (guitarist Ray Toro), are on a mission: to rebel via a raucous rock ‘n’ roll dance party.

MCR, Phase 2: The band loved their costumes from the "Helena" video so much that they wore them on tour.

Like a comic book come to life, the record opens with a welcome into the world of The Killjoys by radio host Dr. Death Defying, who slyly demands, “Look alive, Sunshine.” His introduction fades into the beginning of “Na Na Na,” the first single released off the album. Once you get over the initial shock of how jarringly different it is from anything else in the band’s discography, you’ll be singing along to this hard, fast and celebratory track.

“Bulletproof Heart” follows, with shimmering spacey sounds leading into another synth-laced, riff-laden rock tune. On the next single “Sing,” Way urges us to “use your voice every single time you open up your mouth/sing it for the boys, sing it for the girls/every time that you lose it, sing it for the world.” The track remains relatively subdued until the band jacks up the energy with a driving and well-rhymed bridge.

Any long-time fan of My Chem might cringe at the idea of a disco song, but “Planetary (GO!)” will calm the fears of any skeptics. This dance-worthy party anthem leads into “The Only Hope For Me Is You,” the chorus of which draws an easy comparison to an arena sing-a-long from 30 Seconds to Mars. “Party Poison” picks up where “Planetary (GO!)” left off, with Way yelping, “This ain’t a party, get off the dance floor/You want the letdown, here comes the gang war.” Fans of The Black Parade will love “Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back,” a charging rocker that finally makes room for some of Toro’s signature soloing. “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” is a toned-down retro ballad, while “Summertime” is probably the closest the band has ever been to a love song.

MCR, Phase 3: The Black Parade

But don’t get too comfortable, because next is “Destroya,” the hardest track on the album thus far. In between moans and yelps, Way screams “You don’t believe in God/I don’t believe in luck/They don’t believe in us/But I believe we’re the enemy!

Things calm down on the synth-heavy track “The Kids From Yesterday,” right before Dr. Death signs off the air the old fashioned way—by playing out a full orchestral version of the American national anthem.

Just as you think this high-intensity joyride might be coming to an end, the band pulls out all the stops with “Vampire Money,” a song about their refusal to write a song for the Twilight soundtrack. It’s undoubtedly the most energetic song on the record, complete with claps, crashing drums and Toro’s most impressive guitar solo to date.

MCR, Phase 4: The Fabulous Killjoys

From the very first track of Danger Days, you’ll realize that My Chemical Romance have evolved into a band unlike any other, even themselves. The record still contains metaphors and sci-fi imagery, but Way has written some of the most direct and literal lyrics of his career. Unlike Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge and The Black Parade,  Danger Days is not a concept album. Instead, it’s a punk rock free-for-all that allows the band to cut loose musically and metaphorically, freeing themselves of any labels that have been slapped on them in the past. And though this is their poppiest record to date, My Chem still maintain all the aggression, passion and confidence of all of their previous work. No matter what direction they choose to go in or what costume they choose to wear, they somehow always sound like MCR. In always keeping a fresh new sound and look, they keep audiences intrigued, excited and curious about what band they’ll become next.

Killjoys, make some noise! Check out the official video for “Na Na Na” below and pick up Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys now in stores and on iTunes!

Q&A With Senses Fail

Having been a constant presence in the modern rock scene for nearly a decade, post-hardcore band Senses Fail have refused to conform to current trends on and off the stage. Their fifth studio record, The Fire, a testament to the bands evolution and experiences grappling with self-doubt, anger and forgiveness, was released on Tuesday. We got the chance to speak with frontman Buddy Nielsen about the new record, the first-ever Senses Fail DVD and being on tour with Bayside.

OS: Senses Fail recently returned from touring Australia. How did the crowds there react to seeing you live for the first time in four years?

BN: It was awesome! I had a great time. Everything went really well and I thought the shows went great. I can’t wait to go back. Australia is really my favorite place to go.

OS: The Fire is the first Senses Fail record with Zack Roach on guitar. How has the lineup change affected the band and the writing of the record?

BN: Zack didn’t really do a ton of writing, it was mostly the three of us. Heath (Saraceno, former guitarist) had a lot to do with the writing, but he was kind of a guy who came in after the fact and added to it, he didn’t really write the bulk of the stuff. Not a lot has really changed, as far as the writing process. Garrett (Zablocki, guitarist) usually wrote the bulk of it and he and Dan (Trapp, drummer) arranged it, then I would come up with the melodies and lyrics and help arrange it. I think people would expect that there would be a change, but there really wasn’t.

OS: Senses Fail’s music seems to get heavier with each release. Is this a conscious decision or has it happened naturally?

BN: It just happens. It’s hard to explore different avenues, going a poppier route. It’s very linear, what you can do with something that’s catchy, as opposed to taking a different vibe and taking a different feeling and taking a heavier route. We try to write songs that we would like to play, ultimately…stuff that isn’t too out of the box for us. I think a lot of bands tend to jump the shark sometimes in trying to be experimental. Sometimes it works but I really think most times it doesn’t.

OS: There’s a way to progress without going too far.

BN: Yeah. You’ve got to know who you are as a band and who your fans are, too. You can’t just abandon what made you popular. You can’t get ahead of yourself and what you think are.

OS: That’s something you show on The Fire. You guys have definitely come a long way but you still sound like Senses Fail.

BN: Oh, awesome, thanks! That would be what I want to hear. I don’t like when my favorite bands decide to do something stupid and change their thing. It’s like, “Why? You just ruined it. I liked you for this reason but you decided to mess up what was good about it.” I think bands that have been around for a long time feel a sense of urgency to keep up with what’s going on or out-do what’s going on to stay relevant. It’s hard not to go, “This is what’s popular, should we do this? Do we need to have all these breakdowns and then a techno part? I hope it’s not what we need to do.”

OS: Tell us about the title track of the new record.

BN: “The Fire”… that song, to me, just opens up the record to what the record’s going to be. “The Fire” is about going through a process of change in your life with uncertainty, but ultimately telling yourself that you’re at the right place at the right time and that everything’s pretty much happening for the right reasons. It’s kind of a bipolar song where part of it’s positive and then at the breakdown it goes back to reflecting on ways that I have chosen to deal with things and ultimately want to change. Walking through the fire; walking through a time of hardship leaves you stronger and better off.

OS: Your lyrics have have always been extremely personal, but varied, in terms of their themes. What would you say are the lyrical themes of The Fire?

BN: Self-exploration and working up a lot of self-doubt and anger…definitely anger towards relationships that I’ve had within my family and coming to terms with them. I think forgiveness is definitely a theme on the record…and just trying to figure out what to do when you’re 26 and in a band. The same things that everyone else is trying to figure out.

OS: You’re releasing a live DVD with the first pressing of The Fire. What was the concert shoot like?

BN: We did it last Halloween in New Jersey and it came out great, I’m happy with it. It was our first time that we did a live DVD and it’s a pain in the ass (laughs). The whole process is just kind of a pain in the ass. But it came out really good, I’m psyched. People have been asking for it. We’re not the kind of band that’s going to put on a Nine Inch Nails kind of a show where it’s very visual and stuff, it’s more the kind of show that you need to go to, you know? It’s just a band playing music and it’s kind of hard to sell that on its own, nowadays, with people not buying records and people just not buying things, period. I think it’s better off that it comes with the record, because it’s an added bonus, like, “Hey, here’s a live show, if you’ve never seen us.” You can’t ever really get what it’s like to be at a show, unless you’re there…or unless you’re watching a Muse DVD and it’s just hundreds of thousands of people and a crazy stage show and lights. That’s visually entertaining and you can sit there and watch.

OS: You’re touring with your friends in Bayside. What are you most looking forward to while on the road with them?

BN: I’m just excited to finally be on tour with a bunch of bands that I don’t think suck. We tried, with the last record, to bring along bands that were doing well and that didn’t work. We’ve been a band for nine years now and a lot of our fans are a little older and they go to the bar…they don’t want to see some of the shit that’s going down now. We made some decisions in underestimating how much our audience has grown and what they would like to see. I think that they would probably like to see stuff more along the lines of what we’d like, which is great. I think this tour is going to do really well. I don’t know how much the crossover is between Bayside fans and Senses Fail fans, but I definitely know that Senses Fail fans do like Bayside as well.

OS: And the other two bands…you were saying on Twitter that people should definitely listen to them. What are they like?

BN: Oh yeah, they’re great bands. Title Fight is punk rock, hardcore band. Like Good Riddance, kind of. Balance and Composure sounds like a mid-90s Midwestern emo band. They’re very spacey but heavy, not in a breakdown way…like Deep Elm Records kind of stuff, which is really cool. There are times when they sound like older Recover. They’re doing very well so it should be fun.

OS: In addition to providing vocals for Senses Fail, you also front a punk band called Bayonet. Are there any recording our touring plans in the works for 2011?

BN: We have a bunch of stuff recorded and we have a bunch of stuff we’re still writing, it’s just in between having to write this whole record and then record it, I haven’t really had any time to do anything with that. But I think our full-length will come out next year on Vagrant.

Check out Senses Fail on tour with Bayside at these upcoming tour dates:

10/28 – Omaha, NE at The Waiting Room
10/29 – Denver, CO at The Summit Music Hall
10/30 – Salt Lake City, UT at In The Venue
11/01 – Seattle, WA at El Corazon
11/02 – Portland, OR at Wonder Ballroom
11/04 – San Francisco, CA at The Regency Ballroom
11/05 – West Hollywood, CA at Troubadour
11/06 – Anaheim, CA at House of Blues
11/07 – San Diego, CA at House of Blues
11/09 – Mesa, AZ at The Nile
11/10 – Albuquerque, NM at Sunshine Theatre
11/12 – Dallas, TX at The Door
11/13 – Austin, TX at Emo’s
11/14 – Houston, TX at Warehouse Live
11/16 – Jacksonville Beach, FL at Freebird Live
11/17 – St. Petersburg, FL at State Theatre
11/18 – Lake Buena Vista, FL at House of Blues
11/19 – Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade
11/20 – Charleston, SC at The Music Farm
11/21 – Greensboro, NC at Greene Street
11/23 – Towson, MD at The Recher Theatre
11/24 – Sayreville, NJ at Starland Ballroom
11/27 – Philadelphia, PA at Electric Factory

 


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