END guitarist Greg Thomas talks working with Will Putney, what he misses about shows, and more (interview)

The massively-heavy band END is a supergroup of epic proportions. With the star power of vocalist Brendan Murphy (Counterparts), guitarist/producer Will Putney (Fit For an Autopsy), guitarist Greg Thomas (ex-Shai Hulud, Zombie Apocalypse, etc.), bassist Jay Pepito (Reign Supreme), and drummer Andrew McEnaney (Trade Wind, Struc/tures), the band has tracks so heavy you’ll want to throw down no matter the scenery. I had a chance to speak to Greg about the band before their first album Splinters from an Ever-Changing Face releases June 5th.

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INTERVIEW: Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red talks favorite young bands ahead of “Guardians” on April 3rd

Today, I had the pleasure of speaking to Jake Luhrs, vocalist of August Burns Red, just ahead of their eighth studio album, Guardians, releasing on April 3rd.

Mike: My first heavy concert was you guys at Summerfest 2010 in Milwaukee. The crowd all stood on the bleachers to get a good look at you. What’s the strangest venue setup you’ve ever played?
Jake Luhrs: I recall early on playing a house show in Pittsburgh in a basement. Everyone was shoulder-to-shoulder, it was SUPER hot. If there was a fire, we’d all be in trouble! The metal scene was so hungry back then that no one even cared.

Mike: What are some current young bands that you’d love to have on tour?
Jake: Polaris, Fit for a King, and Silent Planet. These bands are on the cusp of being the biggest names in the newest wave of metalcore. There was a period of time where everyone was trying to sound like someone else, but these bands are absolutely doing their own thing.

Mike: Your band is known for its eclectic music videos, ex. “Invisible Enemy”s puppetry and “Defender”s comic book art. What kind of music video would you like to shoot in the future?
Jake: I really enjoy going for something unique, something that’s never been done before. We really liked doing the one for “Frost”. One that sticks out to me is Parkway Drive’s “Vice Grip” where they jumped out of a plane. That would scare the hell out of me!

Mike: ABR has released instrumental/remixed albums in recent years. Can we expect an instrumental Guardians and/or a remix of Leveler?
Jake: Oh, you know what, I guess it is coming up on ten years for Leveler! I would put my money on getting a Guardians instrumental; we like to get people into the genre without (the detraction of) my voice (laughs).

Mike: You’ve inspired tons of bands the past 15 years. What bands did you grow up loving?
Jake: Hopesfall’s No Wings to Speak Of EP was my first metal album. I loved the vocalist’s ability to convey pain, anguish, and heartbreak. That period of time  was when the sound was just beginning to take off and they were a pioneer of American metalcore. I also love Norma Jean; Josh Scogin is a LEGEND for the evolution of heavy, aggressive screaming. Poison the Well, 7 Angels 7 Plagues, and As I Lay Dying stick out as well!

A massive thank you goes out to Jake for taking the time to speak to me. Jake is hosting a listening party of August Burns Red’s Guardians at twitch.tv/heartsupport at 1PM EST this Friday, April 3rd. He’ll be going in-depth on the lyrical content and making of this new album. HeartSupport is Jake’s admirable undertaking to combat addiction, suicide ideation, and other adversities. This is a foundation we can all get behind and is worth taking a look into.

Stream August Burns Red’s Guardians this Friday, April 3rd!

Cloud Cascade: How Invent Animate came back from the brink to release “Greyview”

Releasing an album that people immediately start to love and appreciate is a tall task in itself. Couple that with not releasing a record for 4 years as well as replacing an acclaimed vocalist in Ben English, and Invent Animate’s impressive progressive metalcore achievement on Greyview is even more magnified. After all, 4 years – especially in a music scene where trends tend to move at lightspeed – is a lengthy amount of time.

Upping their technical wizardry to 11 and introducing another established face behind the mic in ex-Aviana frontman Marcus Vik, there’s plenty of familiarity on Greyview – but also plenty of excitement for their future. We caught up with the new Invent Animate frontman about what it’s like joining a new project, as well as what Adept means to him. Read on for more.

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Interview: Billy T. Cooper and ‘Sno’ Drake of The Designs

The Designs are an electro groove metal project with cabaret and goth influences created by Billy T. Cooper of JTR Sickert and ‘Sno’ Drake of Snovonne. Billy and Sno are based out of Modena, Italy, have toured Europe extensively with their previous projects and will be touring the USA later on this year as The Designs. To get a real good feel for The Designs intriguing sound watch the short studio update video after the interview. And one side note – Snovonne was very recently named “Female Visual Artist of 2019” by the American Horrors Channel.

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