Category Archives: Emo

I Want. – Kill Audio Vinyl Toy

I am a huge fan of Coheed & Cambria. I am also a huge fan of vinyl toys.

Kill Audio Vinyl Action Figure
Kill Audio (bloody) Vinyl Action Figure

Recently, rather a couple months back, I came across Kill Audio. Kill Audio is a comic/vinyl action figure created by Coheed & Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez and artist Sheldon Vella.  The comic is more of a project between the two with the comics being featured on the Kill Audio Myspace page, as well as featuring in Popgun from Image Comics.  An actual hard copy should be available in 2009.  Accompanying the comics are limited edition Kill Audio vinyl action figures, basicly a mini Claudio Sanchez who is the focus of the comics.  The comic is just about as interesting as everything else that has been thought up by Claudio Sanchez.

I want.

So far the vinyl figures are available to fans through Comic Cons and other special events such as random signings at pop culture toy stores.  A limited edition version gunmetal gray Kill Audio figure will be sold at the Neverender shows that Coheed & Cambria is playing in select cities.  The Neverender show is the show of all Coheed & Cambria shows with the band playing through all four of their albums in four nights… What I would give to be a part of that.

Kill Audio (non-bloody) Vinyl Action Figure
Kill Audio (non-bloody) Vinyl Action Figure

For more info about Kill Audio, check out the following links:

Kill Audio on www.juxtapoz.com

Kill Audio on MySpace

Kill Audio on Facebook

To buy me the action figure (it’s only $50, that’s nothing!!!) check out:

Rotofugi

Trever Keith vs. Me – An interview with Face To Face front man Trever Keith

Any fan of punk rock music has probably heard of a certain SoCal punk rock band called Face To Face. Formed by Trever Keith in 1991 the band gained commercial success with their ideal punk rock style and soon achieved commercial success. Trever Keith was the only original member to stick through the good times and bad times and sadly the band decided to call it quits in 2003

With the decision to go their separate ways Trever Keith did not stop there. He continued on with his passion for music and started recording solo material as well as maintained his own record label. On top of that he worked on other band projects including Legion Of Doom, a mash-up project of out of this world proportions. He is without a doubt one of the busiest punk rockers out there and it not willing to call it quits anytime soon.

Recently I learned that Face To Face had reunited for a small tour and possibly more. I decided to get in touch with Trever Keith to ask him some questions of his past, present, and future. Trever Keith was more than happy to take time out of his busy day and answer some questions for me.

Trever Keith
Trever Keith

B:  So I guess my first question would have to be what finally prompted Face To Face (F2F) to reunite for a few tours? I remember reading an interview a while back that you did not think it was going to happen.

TK:  Scott [Shiflett] and I missed it and the offers started getting a lot more interesting.

Any specific offers in general?

Bamboozle 08 in Los Angeles was the clincher.

Who is all playing alongside you when you tour?

Scott of course. Sometimes Chad Yaro (depending on his availability, LA area shows are the most likely) and Danny Thompson on drums.

Any chance of expanding the tour? I see that F2F is playing some shows in California in November as well as a few select dates overseas in 2009.

As long as there is an interest from fans, we will be back out playing shows. We’re not looking at being back out on the road full time for F2F, but we are definitely planning some more stuff for 2009. We’ll just see how it goes.

Does this reunion tour mean there is a possibility that F2F might be back to record new material?

I suppose there is a remote chance. Although there are no plans.

Any real reason why F2F ultimately called it quits?

A desire to try some other projects and a sense that we had really run our course as a band. We didn’t want to overstay our welcome. But the fans have proved that the reality of that is completely the opposite. So we’re back as long as there is a demand.

Trever Keith
Trever Keith

Enough about F2F, let’s talk about you and your continuing vision with music. Even after the band departed you continued forward. You released a solo album on your own record label. Can you tell me a little bit about both?

I have a label called Antagonist. I had an indie distribution deal that was a complete disaster. I’m out of it now. My plans for Antagonist are sort of changing with the landscape, but I at least know it’s a place for me to release my own music in the future.

My debut solo record was in limited release but is currently not available. I had initially had it available for download for $5.00 on my website and I pressed up about 1,000 limited edition CDs for sale only at shows.

These were things I wanted to do for the core fans. I am looking at an “official” release for early/mid 2009.

Will your “official” solo release be under your label or has anyone else shown interest is having it on their label?

There is interest, but it will be an Antagonist release regardless of whether I’m involved with another label or not.

You toured in support of your solo release. How were the shows you played at? Were there a lot of old school punkers there checking you out? Were a lot of people asking about the band you used to front?

Most of the shows were amazing. They were small sized clubs. Some were better attended than others but most of the time that really didn’t matter. The people that came were so cool. I made a point of hanging out a bit after every show and it was really something special. Many of these people are F2F fans but also really appreciated the work I am doing on my own and that was really the point of this small club tour; to really just get out there for the die hard fans and get the music to them first. Now my challenge is spreading it to a bigger audience.

Any plans for a second solo release?

Sure but give me a chance to promote this one properly first!

Face To Face
Face To Face

What is Viva Death all about?

It was a project that Scott and I thought up about 5 years ago. The first record was really a joint effort but on the second record it started to become more of Scott’s thing. He is just now finishing up the third Viva Death record which from what I’ve heard so far is amazing. He played all of the instruments on this one, even drums. It’s really a testament to what an amazing musician Scott is. You can check out his MySpace for more info. www.myspace.com/vivadeathmusic

I have read about a possible other project in the works as well called Pablum? Not much is known about them. Anything you might like to share?

Pablum is just an early name for my solo effort. I decided to go with my own name for simplicity.

How did you become involved with mashing up songs in Legion Of Doom?

Chad Blinman is a longtime friend. I sort of convinced him to start this mash-up thing while him and I had some downtime. We really started digging in and get hooked into the project. We decided to give ourselves a name and some soundtrack and remix work followed. It’s a project that is an amazing creative outlet for us that is unlike anything else we’re involved in. It’s something I look forward to doing for a long time. There are many ideas in the works for Legion of Doom.

Where did the idea come from to do such a thing, mash up emo/punk songs and even add a little hip-hop action? I admit the first time I heard it I was hooked?

Well I’d be lying if I said it was all my idea. I was doing some work with Darren Doane at the time and we always had this knack for discussing all sorts of crazy ideas for projects and stuff. He had this idea to do DJ style mash-ups of emo/hardcore bands. Since he’s in film and music videos he didn’t really have the know how to pull off such an idea so I ran with it.

The CD Incorporated is out of print and pretty much impossible to find. Do you think you would ever consider re-releasing it?

Face To Face is back...but for how long???
Face To Face might just be touring at a city near you.

We don’t have the permission from labels or publishers to release the CD, so probably not. Come to think of it, who made those first CDs anyway?

So you had nothing to do with the CD being released or do you have no comment? Haha.

No comment.

What is your favorite mash-up so far that you have helped create? I personally love the Coheed vs. Senses Fail mash-up called “Devil In A Blue Dress”. It seems like the two songs were meant to be mashed.

Destroy All Vampires [My Chemical Romance vs. A Static Lullaby mash-up]

Just curious on how Cleveland artist Derek Hess was recruited to draw up the cover for the CD?

That was another Darren Doane connection. I met Derek through Darren.

A couple of the Legion Of Doom songs were featured in movies such as Saw II and Resident Evil: Extinction. Any plans on having more mixes pop up in future movies?

I’d love to. Nothing confirmed at the moment. The last thing we did for a film is a placement in the movie Pathology which just came out on DVD.

Eyes Front is a movie released on Antagonist Films. Any relation to your own Antagonist Records Label? What all did you contribute to the film? Is this just the beginning of you working a little more in depth with a movie?

Antagonist Films is the same company as Antagonist Records. The Legion of Doom did all of the original music for the film and I was a producer on the film. I would love to do more work in film, but I’m not currently involved in any projects at the moment.

How did you land the role of producing the movie (Eyes Front)? Have you had previous experience producing film?

Again Darren Doane was the one who got me involved with the film. I have had no previous experience.

Speaking of movies it seems like you take samples from older movies and add them to the mix, how do you come across some of those?

There are websites with such material. Just gotta know where to look.

Have you seen any of the fan made videos of Legion Of Doom mash-ups on YouTube? What do you think about your fans creating them?

One of the most satisfying things about creating something is knowing that people really get it. Seeing those music videos to me is proof that people out there are really getting what we’re doing and they’re taking it up a level by adding their own creativity. It’s a humbling experience.

What is next for Legion Of Doom? Would you/have you considered touring? Will there be another CD released?

We’re getting ready to release an entire album of new original material.

When you look at all that you have accomplished musically, how does that make you feel? Any advise to share with anyone looking to be successful in a musical career whether it be creating or remixing?

I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I feel lucky to have had some success and I am proud of the body of work I have created. And on the other hand I want to achieve more both as an artist and performer. The only advice I could give is you have to be relentless.

What’s next for Trever Keith?

World domination.

The Legion Of Doom
The Legion Of Doom

Look for Trever Keith’s official release of his solo album in early/mid 2009. For more information about what cities Face To Face is touring or to check out all the projects Trever Keith is currently involved in check out the following links:

www.facetofacemusic.com www.treverkeith.com www.the-legion-of-doom.com

Face To Face Reunion?

I was just killing some time tonight when I came upon a post on Punknews.Org stating that Face To Face has started a reunion tour.  Excuse me???  Apparently I have been out of the loop because I thought the band called it quits for good in 2002.  I really hadn’t heard anything from them since.

Face To Face is a So.Cal punk rock band that was one of my favorites in the late nineties.  Their one song that got major attention was “Disconnected”…

I am not sure yet if the band is going to only tour a couple of cities at this time in the US and overseas or if they will take it one step further and create and album together.  I would love to see a new Face To Face album as they are one of those punk bands I wish never broke up.

I have been aware that front man Trevor Keith has been doing his own thing since the band split.  In fact he has been doing a few things…a few things I was not entirely aware of.

First there is his solo material he has been working on and his label Antagonist Records.  I had no idea Trevor Keith has been working on creating music on his own.  Earlier this year he released his solo album Melancholics Anonymous.  The album is available on his website via download for 5 bucks or you can send him some of your cold hard cash and he’ll send you a CD if he has any left.  I am going to be dishing out 5 bucks myself so I can check it out.  He has the album streaming on his site and from what I hear I like so far.

Then there is Legion Of Doom, a mash-up project like no other featuring Trevor Keith and producer Chad Blinman.  The duo remixes emo, punk, and hip hop songs as well as creates original material, some of which have been featured in films.  I have been a fan of this project for a couple of year now when I accidentally came across a remix of Senses Fail and Coheed & Cambira….

I love the sound of the two bands clashing together, it’s perfect (but you have to like the bands to appreciate it too of course).  I also got a kick out of Claudo’s shorter hair on the video….  This song and others were released on Legion Of Doom’s debut CD called Incorporated.  The CD is well out of print but you can find it out there in the digital world, I know I did.

Hawthorne Heights – Fragile Future – CD Review

Hawthorne Heights
Hawthorne Heights

A lot has been going on for Ohio’s screamo act Hawthorne Heights since their last release.  Having said goodbye to a friend and band mate as well as dropping a lawsuit with Victory Records, the band continues to cope and mature throughout.  Not letting the past affect them in a downward way, the band proves they refuse to stop with Fragile Future, their third release on Victory Records.

On November 27, 2007 Hawthorne Heights guitarist/screamer Casey Calvert was found dead on the band’s tour bus just prior to their sound check at a Washington D.C. music club.  The cause of death was determined to be a possible drug interaction but according to the band’s drummer Eron Bucciarelli it was not a result of hardcore partying but an accident as Casey Calvert was taking other medicines from a recent root canal.

With the death of a loved one the band stated they would continue to go on and never add another guitarist/screamer to their band.  After taking some time to themselves and writing new material the band hopes to once again achieve success with Fragile Future even though this time they are one man down.

Of course, the first thing that stands out on this release is the omitted vicious screaming.  It would appear that Hawthorne Heights did not even wish to replicate their lost friend’s talent and that, to me, is respectable.  Also dropping the lawsuit with Victory Records and patching up past decisions proved the band is on the rise.

When “The Business Of Paper Stars” started I was waiting for the well known screaming backing up lead singer J.T. Woodruff but instead imagined it in my head.  There is plenty of opportunity in the song for screaming but the band strays away from that and is now more emo. 

Their healed sound continues in “Until The Judgment Day” with memorable lyrics of being “battered and broken” as well as “don’t look back, don’t you ever look back until the judgment day”.  Looks as if the band put down the boom box to win the girl attitude and started to see there are more things in life out there.

“Four Became One” was the track I was looking for on this CD, knowing how they lost Casey Calvert.  The song really is about the band’s closure with the difficult situation they were subject to.  It’s an ode to their friend for the entire world to hear.  Having lost friends in my past, I felt their pain in this song.

“321” is the closest song on the CD that shows aggression with a mild screaming dwelling behind the singing.  The guitar playing is likable and heavier than the other tracks making for one of my choice cuts.  “Come Back Home (Reprise)” was another track that held on to the the old style, especially with borrowed lyrics from “This Is Who We Are” off their sophomore album If Only You Were Lonely.

Fans of Hawthorne Heights will be happy the band continued on and with their change of style and I can see some new folk becoming fans.  It is a change, especially if you put this CD in hoping to hear the screamo. This is not their strongest album to date but the fact that they did not let the past hold them back makes them a tough band now.  Hawthorn Heights defines the emo genre now that they have experienced true sorrow.  Mature and structured, I expect much more from this band in years to come.

Check out their lastest video for the song “Rescue Me”:

3OH3! – Want – CD Review

3OH!3 (pronounced 3-OH!-3) is far from your ordinary band. For instance, when I downloaded the CD to my iPod it was listed as an unclassifiable genre and that is an understatement. Debuting with WANT, the twosome white-boy rap/rock duo certainly have released material worth talking about as they have mixed up elements of crunk, punk, electronica, and even emo, making for an energy overload album.

3OH3!
3OH3!

Hailing from the streets of… umm… Boulder, the duo have discarded their college educations in favor of creating some of the best crunk rock dance party tracks I have ever heard. Already debuting on the Top 10 on the iTunes album chart, the band has also gained attention from Alternative Press Magazine naming them one of AP’s one hundred bands you need to know.

3OH!3 stands for the area code that front men Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte represent. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, the duo met while studying physics in college and discovered one another’s love for underground hip hop. The mutual fixation for a genre of music that is rarely handled in the capitol of hippies brought the two united to create 3OH!3 and before they knew it they were selling out local clubs with their high strung dancing layered on top of their truly unique genre-bashing music.

“Punk Bitch” was the first track I heard from these guys and I must admit I thought they were a Lil John wannabe project. Not until halfway through the song did I realized this was not really a rap act but something much more entertaining. The opening to the song imitated lots of crunk music I have heard before, but as you go through the song you start to hear a blend of crunk and emo, something I did not think was possible until now. The result is an infectious track that I have listened to over and over. This gangster emo track will be getting the clubs moving for sure this year.

The third track “Don’t Trust Me” has the greatest refrain ever: “Shush girl, shut your lips. Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.” Dance like Helen Keller? Who the hell writes something like this? How offensive… I loved it. I can only see it now, a forbidden dance called the Helen Keller created from this track. Aside from the crude lyrics talking of a no-name groupie, this track is full of danceable music that is far from annoying.

Sounding almost like what Electric Six would sound like if they collaborated with Lil John & The Eastside Boyz is “I’m Not Your Boyfriend Baby”. The electronic beats alone surpass a lot of crap I have heard in the clubs or on the radio, and once the interesting, whiny, emo cry solo was slammed with their tough ass rap lyrics I was addicted.

“Star Struck” has more of a R&B feel a la Kenna mixed with hard electronics and a beat that pretty much has been stuck in my head since I first heard the sexually suggestive song. Then there are the full on rap tracks “Choke Chain” that you will be singing along with and “Photofinnish” that reminded me of the Faint but excessively crunked out.

3OH3! @ the 2008 Warped Tour in Cleveland
3OH3! @ the 2008 Warped Tour in Cleveland

Just when I thought things were insane enough, “Still Around” started up. This slow sensitive track regarding the love of a special something really proves to me these guys are not just out there to jump around and get the party rioting. The lyrics at times were predictable but the music and the idea of the song is sweet and almost depressing, especially if you have been in the situation of which they sing.

No need to be too depressed though, because “Holler ’til You Pass Out” brings back all that energy that was paused for a moment with a full blown anthem all about representing the city of Boulder. This track is tough, addictive, and fun and I wanted more once it was over.

Want might very well be the most fun CD I have heard all year and at this moment I am addicted to 3OH!3 and their crazy ass music. These guys have something a little gangster, a lot insane, and damn well genus. If you are looking for something a tad different from the norm yet catchy at the same time then 3OH!3 is where it’s at.

Already stealing the show at the 2008 Warped Tour with their high vigor, including their hilarious onstage presence, this is one band you need to experience especially if you are in need some new pickup lines to rifle off to the ladies.

Just in case you wanted to hear what they sound like or what the hype is all about:

(Warning, as with many crunk infused tracks, there is a lot of cussing on this video.  Like truck driver cussing….  Play accordingly)