By Chris Coutsoukis
This past weekend Headrush TV had the opportunity to catch up with KONGOS, four brothers with roots from London, South Africa, and Pheonix, behind the hit single "Come With Me Now." The band played Samuel Adams OctoberFest, alongside The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, at the World Trade Center in Boston. The band is currently touring in support of their Junior album, Egomaniac, with new music coming around the corner.
We’re at Sam Adam’s OctoberFest in Boston with Kongos. Guys, how does it feel to back in Boston and playing music?
Danny: “It’s cool. We all really love this city, seeing the ancient American history lurking on each corner is very cool.”
Jesse: “I think just flying in and seeing the clouds and the ocean. You start thinking about all the events that made this country possible like the Boston Tea party- it's pretty cool. The food here is pretty good too- haha”
You guys also played the OctoberFest in Cleveland this September, what’s your favorite part about performing at an event like Samuel Adams OctoberFest?
Jesse: “Yeah well we have done these sort of shows a fair amount, where it is a constant kind of festival but also sort of corporate. I mean Cleveland was freezing, it was the first time I have literally worn a sweatshirt on stage. Tonight should be better, a lot of people are apparently coming."
I think our fans would be very interested to hear about your background as a band, because it is quite unique. Not only are all four of you biological brothers, you grew up across the globe in London and South Africa. What is it like being in a popular band and touring as a family?
Dylan: “Well we don't really know any different, this will be the 15th year playing, almost. This is all we have ever really known. But It has its upsides and its downsides, families can argue like no other but they can also recover more quickly. Musically it helps a lot, we've been playing for so long I think there is a connection that allows us to play in a certain way.”
Johnny: “I think a big part of a band that is able to have any level of success, is literally just staying together. Just surviving the first five years of shit gigs and being brothers just made that so much easier."
Since you have such an interesting dynamic of personalities as a band, can you share what your process for making and recording music is?
Danny: “That’s where the egos come out, we all write separately, were doing more together now. But historically we separated the writing process.”
That is a nearly perfect segue to your newest album, Egomaniac. What has it been like touring the album and its evolution?
Dylan: “The songs we play vary set by set, to be honest, but the songs from Egomaniac translate very live very easily, for some reason it's just natural.”
Johnny: “We’ve been playing so much more when we started playing Egomaniac, we had a lot more shows under our belt. When we recorded Lunatic, we had done a minimal amount of touring, so that definitely impacted how we could think about the recording process.”
Are you guys writing new music now?
Dylan: “Yes, we are working on new material. This tour cycle is pretty much winding down, this is most likely the last show of the year for us. So after this we are getting into the studio and actually, start buckling down and trying to finish this new record."
KONGOS are going out with a bang in Boston. Any plans to celebrate?
Johnny: “Yes, we are looking forward to a nice 7 am lobby call- haha"
Maybe you can do the Freedom Trail. It’s a popular 3rd grade field trip destination.
Jesse: “Do they do it at 2 am?”
You can probably do it yourself at 2 am! Shifting gears, how would you say your childhood in London and South Africa influences your style?
Jesse: “We’re American- we have been here since 1996. But I think the exposure to different countries and cultures seeps into your subconscious for sure. We didn’t go back [to South Africa] for 15 years, we had been living in the states before we had gone back to South Africa. So it was really interesting to go back after that and see how it had changed. It’s a strange feeling to go from your home in Arizona to your other home, and you have these feelings of home in both places. But the shows in South Africa are amazing, they kind of launched our career. They jumped on us before anyone else did, but we are very happy that it went that way.”
Johnny: “You get spoiled if you have good shows there because the crowds are way more enthusiastic than almost anywhere else in America. So we got really spoiled there, the energy and the mania at the shows, that you don’t experience here. The scene is also very diverse, massive variety of music from traditional African music to more modern hip hop influence. It is really a vibrant scene.”
Is that where some of the unique elements of your sound are pulled from?
Dylan: “Definitely, more from South Africa than England, we spent so little time in England, and South Africans have such a different scene than other cultures. That influences us a lot, the rhythms, the harmonies, the accordion playing.”
Since 2014, you guys have had some serious mainstream success with your hit single, “Come With Me Now.” A year ago, the band put out your second LP Egomaniac. What is the inspiration behind your 2016 album, Egomaniac?
Jesse: “I think because we each write on our own and come in and play songs to each other, during that process we start to listen to each other's songs and see a thread in those lyrics. Danny said the word Egomaniac and we thought that could be the album title. So we started naming the songs in that theme. We started recording it in the studio our Dad built. When we put it out, it didn't have the explosive power of "Come With Me Now" and that whole cycle so we were reminded that you literally have to work every record, tour every cycle, so that people continue to buy your record and come to your show. A hit is a fleeting thing. We're in it for the long haul."
Your father, John Kongos, is a recording artist. Did he have a large influence on your own musical style?
Johnny: “He started in South Africa, he’s from South Africa, he was like the Elvis of South Africa. It is pretty amazing to see photos of him in the army, there are articles about him having to shave his hair. He carried on with that career and eventually learned there is only so far you can go in South Africa so he moved to England. And spent years knocking his head on the wall not getting to far and eventually focused on making his own music by himself. If you listen to his records, you can really see where we are stealing our music from. He is a big reason why we are involved in this, he encouraged us to consider this as a potential career path.”
Johnny: “Were discovering on this new record we are working on, a bunch of his old instruments like synths, that we thought until recently, ‘Oh these are just kind of sitting around.‘ Then we started realizing he has some amazing synths that were just sitting around. We got to take advantage of. You will hear those on the next record.”
The KONGOS finish their tour at Sam Adams Octoberfest and will be back on the road early next year, "...with material of all kinds." For now, check out the bands current album, Egomaniac featuring the hit single, “Take It From Me."
By David McNally
We Came As Romans came to Worcester this past weekend and we caught up with guitarist Joshua Moore before the show. The band has been on tour since late September with I Prevail, The Word Alive, and Escape The Fate. Titled the Rage on the Stage Tour, the band did not disappoint in living up to such a name.
But more importantly, the group released their fifth-album Cold Like War on October 20. Moore was delighted with the release and excited to finally share the music with fans.
Moore said that when looking for influence on the new album, the band reflected on past projects.
“We sat down with our producer, Drew Folk, and he was just like “you guys realize that you just have to make the best We Came As Romans record. That’s all you have to do. That’s what your fans want from you.” So I sat down and I listened to every WCAR album and kind of just pulled from the best of everything that we’ve done.”
Moore also shared memories of the first WCAR tour and having to print out map-quest maps for their families. However, after sharing fond memories of being on the road, Moore also admitted that touring does come with its challenges. The list is long” says Moore, “Foreign Fire is my favorite song on the new album and that song is about us just dealing with loss on the road. No one sees the sacrifices behind the scenes.”
For the full interview click the link below.
By Haley Biermann
Headrush TV sat down for an exclusive interview with Nothing More’s Jonny Hawkins (vocals) and Daniel Oliver (bass) at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA.
Nothing More has a lot ahead of them. And we mean A LOT. Their newest album The Stories We Tell Ourselves was released on September 15.
“Each song is its own story and own experience…The title The Stories We Tell Ourselves is kind of relating to all of the ways in which we are self-delusion," said frontman Jonny Hawkins. He also discussed the album’s purpose.
“This album is kind of a reminder to step back and observe more,” he said.
The band is touring through various cities in The U.S. and wraps up November 10 in San Antonio TX, the band’s hometown. But they don’t stop there. November 22 marks their first of a long serious of performances in Europe, kicking off in Copenhagen, Denmark!
Both Hawkins and Oliver agree that the fans contribute to maintaining high energy levels at shows. “You get a superpower of sorts,” said Hawkins.
Oliver chimed in, “There’s been more crowd surfers than ever!”
Watch the full interview below.
By Haley Biermann
Headrush TV chatted it up with Seaway’s lead singer Ryan Locke. From the band’s upcoming third studio album release to their long list of tour dates to complete, the Seaway members are without a doubt keeping themselves busy.
Seaway is based in Canada and comprised of members Ryan Locke (lead vocals), Patrick Carleton (rhythm guitar, co-vocals), Andrew Eichinger (lead guitar, backing vocals), Adam Shoji (bass guitar), and Ken Taylor (drums).
The band just wrapped up their Australian tour with With Confidence. The last stop was in Perth on August 26. Ryan Lock told Headrush, “It was our first time in Australia. We’ve done so many American tours and tours in the UK when we knew what we were getting into. To go to Australia for the first time felt really fresh.”
But Seaway doesn’t want to stop their seafaring at the land down under. With Vacation due out September 15 via Pure Noise Records, the band is hoping for many more travel opportunities.
Locke said, “Just today we announced a tour in Japan. We’re all wicked excited to play some shows over there. Moving forward we want to go to a lot of new places… We really want to get down to South America. There’s a lot of European cities we’ve never been to and we want to get to as many new places as we can with this new record.”
In fact, the band is open to not only new experiences abroad, but also to those regarding their sound. Locke called Vacation a “big change in Seaway” admitting, “We’re very out of our element on this one.” The album was recorded in Los Angeles rather than Toronto, the band’s usual studio session location. The band lived in LA together for a month to complete the recording process.
“We’d wake up in the morning, talk about the record, we’d go record all day, and then come home and talk about it. If it wasn’t about the music, it’d be about album artwork or music videos. Constantly being immersed in it 24/7 was a great advantage for us.”
Locke also explained the inspiration behind the new album stating, “We’ve never really been the band to jump on any trends going on in the scene. We kind of go for a bit of a throwback 90s punk rock kind of vibe. There are certain songs on Colour Blind that touch on it, but for Vacation, we were ready to go full blown. Let’s make this record the record we’ve been waiting to make.”
Seaway doesn’t have much of a break after Australia! The band begins their UStour with Four Year Strong this Wednesday, September 6 in Portland, Maine. Locke said, “Vacation is probably the best record we’ve ever written. I hope everyone likes it.” If you want to see Seaway with some music that is sure to impress, check out tour dates here!
By David McNally
Last night Set It Off performed at Brighton Music Hall in and Headrush TV was there to catch the show!
Hailey Biermann was on location and had the chance to catch up Cody Carson and Dan Clermont. When asked about how the bands music videos helped propel them to where they are today Carson said “[videos] add another dimension and layer to not only the song, but the album as a whole” and allows the artist to drive in their point more precisely.
“I think in often cases when you have a music video, its another way to showcase the meaning of song. “ Carson said on the role that music videos play in their writing.
Watch the full video below!
Set It Off is currently on tour with planned dates in Buffalo, Los Angeles, an Dallas. Click here to purchase tickets.
Set It Off Tour Dates
Aug 02 – Webster Underground - Hartford, CT
Aug 03 – Waiting Room - Buffalo, NY
Aug 04 – Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY
Aug 06 – Mr. Smalls Theatre – Millvale, PA
Aug 08 – Granada Theater – Lawrence, KS
Aug 09 – Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO
Aug 11 – The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
Aug 12 – The Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
Aug 14 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
Aug 15 – City National Civic – San Jose, CA
Aug 18 – The Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
Aug 19 – Bogart’s – Cincinnati, OH
Aug 20 – Egyptian Room – Indianapolis, IN
Aug 22 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
Aug 24 – House of Blues – Dallas, TX
Aug 25 – House of Blues – Houston, TX
Aug 26 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
Aug 28 – Orpheum – Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 29 – Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NV
Aug 30 – Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA
Sep 01 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
Sep 02 – Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA
Sep 03 – Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA
By David McNally and Chris Coutsoukis
Don't miss any of our Vans Warped Tour coverage! Use the hashtag #HRtvWarpedSummer to share your photos and stay connected with the tour!
In the latest edition of our Vans Warped Tour 2017 video series, Chris Coutsoukis sits down with Steve Menoian of I Prevail. This is the bands first year on Warped Tour and comes after a recent spark in momentum for the group following the release of their latest album Lifelines, last October.
“Overall, I don’t think we could be any happier with where we are at. This album has taken us to the next level. When we were writing it, we felt like we had something special and there was a lot of optimism in the room, it’s a really exciting time when you’re in that stage and everybody’s excited about the music.”
Touching on at where I Previal is at now and how far the band has come from playing in storage containers, Menoian says the band is “stoked.”
“It’s how the music industry works; the hard work you put in a year ago, projects where you’re at today, and the work you put in today will project where you’re at in a year from now.”
Watch the full interview below and be sure to stay tuned for more of our coverage from Vans Warped Tour.
Remaining Vans Warped Tour 2017 Dates:
7/29 — San Antonio, TX
7/30 — Houston, TX
8/04 — San Francisco, CA
8/05 — San Diego, CA
8/06 — Los Angeles, CA
By David McNally
Don't miss any of our Vans Warped Tour coverage! Use the hashtag #HRtvWarpedSummer
Our very own Chris Coutsoukis recently caught up with Hawthorne Heights front man, JT Woodruff at Vans Warped Tour. The two discussed just about everything from the unforeseen occurrences and the ups and downs of tour life, the required preparations of a rock vocalist, and which rock legends JT wants to open for.
JT also announced that Hawthorne Heights will begin an Australian Tour in late August and that the band has twelve new-songs written, but there are no set plans to release the tracks anytime soon, as of now.
“We’re ready to make a new full-length record. We’ll be doing it between tours and at our own pace, and really concentrating and focusing on each song individually as well as the album as a whole.”
Watch the full interview below!
Hawthorne Heights Tour Dates:
July 26 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - Maryland Heights, MO, USA
July 27 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - Bonner Springs, KS, USA
July 28 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - Dallas TX, USA
July 29 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - San Antonio, TX, USA
July 30 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - Houston Texas
August 1 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - Las Cruces, NM, USA
August 4 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - Mountain View, CA USA
August 5 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - San Diego, CA, USA
August 6 - Vans Warped Tour 2017 - Pomona, CA, USA
August 28 - Amplifier Bar - Perth, WA, Australia
August 29 - Fowler’s Live - Adelaide, SA, Australia
August 31 - Corner Hotel - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
September 1 - The Small Ballroom - Newcastle, NSW, Australia
September 2 - Bald Faced Stag Hotel - Leichhardt, NSW, Australia
September 3 - The Zoo - Fortitude Valley, QLD, Australia
September 4 - Shark Bar, Miami Tavern - Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
September 5 - The Kings Arm - Auckland, New Zealand
"Lifelines" tour with I prevail, Islander, Wage war, and assuming we survive in boston at Brighton music hall
by Michael Connelly
Islander crashed like a gnarly wave into Brighton music Hall on 2/13/16. Alongside them performed Assuming We Survive, Wage War, and the much-loved headliner, I Prevail. The sold-out venue was the backdrop for the second show of the Lifelines tour. The same, inclusive theme from all bands was carried out and that no matter who we are or what we go through you are still human at the end of the day.
Assuming We Survive kicked the show off with some hard hitting skate park head bangers, bringing in a simultaneous wave of nostalgia and unique face-kicking rock. The lead guitarist also proclaimed his love, one that we all secretly share, for Denny's Restaurant on this cold and romantic Valentine’s eve. Assuming We Survive played their hearts out for their hit song "Down", and the crowd reacted accordingly as the amplifiers echoed through the rafters, leaving well-earned pools of sweat on the stage.
Next on to stage came Islander. Islander has a very unique sound, echoing Red Hot Chili Peppers while at the same time sounding like Beastie Boys with a mix of good ol’ Marley. Islander is like a tropical cocktail at a biker bar that usually only serves beer and shots. The group’s hardcore intensity stayed consistent throughout each song, echoing subtle messages encouraging social change. Mikey killed it on the vocals, as was to be expected. His voice on “Devil Red” was spectacular, reaching tones I previously thought impossible. We were lucky enough to talk with him behind the scenes - as you can see in our Exclusive Interview! The crowd's chants of "You can't change me" rang throughout Brighton Music Hall from the song "Darkness." My personal favorite song by the band started with Mikey saying “This is what electricity sounds like,” before launching into a song to raise the hair on your neck. From the ephemeral tones of space to sitting Island side and hands waving back and forth, Islander certainly is a journey not to be missed.
Wage war controlled the crowd and played some songs from the album, "Blueprints." Cody Quithsaid's clean vocals combined with Briton bond's dirty vocals synchronized amazingly, leading to lifting harmonies and palpable power in every vocal line. Listening to Briton sing, I couldn’t help but feel empowered as he captivated his audience with the sound of his voice and ordered for the creation of a legendary mosh-pit. Wage War's set brought the battle to the masses, and showcased standout songs such as "21" and "Witness."
Then, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: I Prevail came out to play in an amazing display of strobe lights and guitar riffs as their set began. I found myself humming the melody of “stuck in your head” as the crowd jumped to the beat. The impassioned audience could be heard for blocks, singing “Stuck in Your Head.” The audience was electric and I Prevail fed off of the adrenaline.It was epic, to say the least. Brian Burkeheirs’ clean vocals were stellar throughout the entire set. I Prevail’s performance of “Chaos” was mind-bending to witness in person. The band played this flagship song with such raw emotion, belting “Home is where you make it!” as every single living body in the building shouted along. I Prevail not only crushed their original content but, also played a few little covers before the night ended. Avril Lavgine’s Complicated made it on the set as well as Puddle of Mudd’s “She Hates Me”. To everyone’s surprise, and enjoyment, the beloved metal rock stars topped off their nightly covers with Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” To some, lyrics are just that - blank slates for you to bop along to on the train. Yet, after this experience of a show, my more pertinent takeaway is to rock hard unapologetic-ally, and most importantly, “home is where you make it!”
By Chris Coutsoukis
We caught up with Reel Big Fish at House of Blues Boston for their album Turn The Radio Off's 20th Anniversary Tour. Check out our full coverage of the concert and enter our sweepstakes to win a signed Vinyl from the band!
By Jordan Lindley
We caught up with Bear Hands frontman Dylan Rau before the band took the stage on their North America tour with Foals. Check out our interview with Dylan to hear tour stories, the behind the scenes on their music, and a deeper look the Brooklyn-based band.
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