AVOID – Split (Kill It)

Wednesday, April 6th 2022 – A band out of Seattle that most of us know and love, and are closely familiar with have released their second video in a month. AVOID (Seattle, WA) are coming into 2022 swinging. While their tour with Fit For a King, Silent Planet and Hollow Front comes to a close, they definitely do not want anyone to forget who the fuck they are and that they’re just here to have a damn good time.

We know what these five are capable of and this video portrays precisely what they came here to do. ‘Split (Kill It)‘ displays AVOID’s versatility and heavier side while paving the way for their newest album.

“Split is the in-your-face ripper! We wanted to show both sides of where AVOID is going next with the singles we put out, and we feel like this really helps set the tone (along with COWABUNGA) for what you’re gonna get” 

Benny Scholl (Vocals)

Recently, AVOID has signed to Thriller Records and premiered two of their newest singles ‘COWABUNGA‘ and ‘Split (Kill It)‘ on SiriusXM, respectively on Octane and Liquid Metal a few weeks ago. These two tracks have set the tone for the future of AVOID as they continue to evolve their sound. While pulling in the heavier notes from their 2018 release ‘Alone’ they’ve done well to meld in a much more melodic, high paced, edgy and wild vibe. We’re just along for the ride.

Find AVOID Online

AVOID: HostAge At A BeAch House PArty

Drops New Music Video For
HostAge At A BeAch House PArty
From The ‘Burner EP
Watch Here | Listen Here

First Artist Signed To Newly Announced
Thriller Records
From Fearless Records Founder, Bob Becker

Thursday, June 17, 2021 – Hailing from music mecca Seattle, WA, hard rock quintet AVOID have today unleashed the video for their latest banger “HostAge At A BeAch House PArty” off their recent EP, “The Burner”. Between the shots filmed in beautifully idyllic Malibu, CA, to shaving one’s head, and falling out of an airplane, “HostAge At A BeAch House PArty” visually captures the descent into losing oneself in dizzying anxiety. Speaking on the release, AVOID frontman Benny Scholl shares:

“We’re incredibly stoked to share the video for HostAge At A BeAch House PArty! We couldn’t have done it without the amazing work of everyone on the team. This is by far our most elaborate video we’ve done yet. We hope you guys have as much fun watching as we did making it!” 

Lets be real here for just a moment or two, 2020 sucked and to come back into the game with the announcement of signing to a new label, and two massive festivals is something that only happens when you put your absolute most into the trade. Navigating the music scene is hard enough as it is, but if it’s done so through extensive hardwork and humility anything can be done.

We have been following AVOID for over four years now and honestly we can say without missing a beat that these individuals deserve every ounce of attention that they are given. Not only are they dedicated to the music they create and their fans, they make their ideas happen and even if the road is littered with obstacles AVOID will find a way to make it happen.

Check out the video for “HostAge At A BeAch House PArty” here or by clicking the link below.

AVOID have also announced today that they are the ambassador signing to Thriller Records – the brand new label launched today by Bob Becker, the mastermind and founder of world-renowned alternative rock label, Fearless Records. The brand new venture is centered around artist-friendly deals, long-term development and creating the rising stars of tomorrow. With a broad range of artists from a widely diverse spectrum of genres and backgrounds, Becker’s passion for discovering and nurturing new talent is stronger than ever. Joining him in the new venture are former Fearless partner John Perenchio, Thriller Records Label Manager Nick Moore (founder of InVogue Records) and former Fearless Records President/Chief Marketing Officer, Jenny ReaderThriller Records can also reveal that they’ve signed an exclusive global distribution agreement with ADA Music Worldwide.

Speaking on his new venture, Becker shares:

“I’ve always believed the artists and the fans need to be at the center of anything we do. We need to advocate for them and for the creators, empowering them to be able to create on their terms, taking our years of experience and combining it with a fresh approach to what an independent label should look like in 2021 and beyond – an entity embracing the way music is now discovered and consumed, and running with it.”

Exploding out of Seattle, WA, AVOID has been making a name for themselves thanks to their electrifying live show and an unabashed experimental approach to their music. The result is an alchemistic audio dose of heavy hedonism, the stamp of a young act unafraid to equally embrace both their innovation and individuality.

With their latest release “The Burner” (released November 2020) they have already made their mark. Securing a partnership with NASCAR including an AVOID car scheme and tracks “Song About James” and “HEAT” in video game NASCAR Heat 5, as well as being an Accelerator Artist To Watch with three tracks in rotation on Sirius XM Octane and Liquid Metal, they exploded unafraid in a year where so many were questioning their next steps. Confident of what they are creating, and about to kick global ass, AVOID is ready to take their place in the new wave of great heavy young acts.

Find AVOID Online
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Find Thriller Records Online 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify TikTok

Cosa Nostra PR

DRAGGED UNDER: The World Is In Your Way

Let us take a moment here and appreciate the hustle when it comes to breaking through in the music industry. Not only has Dragged Under gone through a number of members and a name change over the last couple years, but they have more than cultivated quite the lineup. This group of amazing gentlemen have persevered through their difficulties and manage to land a spot opening for The Used on a sold out tour,  while also promoting their ‘No Days Off’ headliner with scattered dates across the US.

On January 17th, Dragged Under broke through the barrier releasing their debut album ‘The World Is In Your Way’ which reached #8 on the iTunes Alternative Album Chart and #18 on Billboard’s Top Alternative New Artist. It’s also notable to mention that these guys were already raking in the streams with three of their singles off the same album: Here For War, Hypochondria and Chelsea. Spotify has clocked in more than 1.7 million streams, YouTube has reached over 180k views and a combined social media following of 421k. Did we mention that they have done this all while unsigned? Needless to say the dedication and support is impressive.

Our thoughts on the album

‘The World Is In Your Way’ was produced by Hiram Hernandez of Earth Says Studios and was mixed/mastered by Matt Good, this album is hard hitting with some enormous hooks that will have you dancing in your seat, and hopefully at one of their shows. If you’re a fan of Rise Against, A Day to Remember, or Beartooth you will not be disappointed with the music these gentlemen bring to the table. Your ears will be more than thrilled as they are met with a dash of early 2000s punk rock, a sprinkle of hardcore punk and a generous topping of melodic hardcore. Dragged Under definitely brings it to the table with catchy riffs, aggressive choruses, and a fast paced tempo.

The only downfall to this album is that we cannot pick a favorite song, as all of them are exceptional. Granted we have got to give a huge nod to ‘Chelsea’ as the one track that has stood out the most. The chorus is an ear-worm for sure, but the meaning behind the song hits pretty deep, especially if you’re in a relationship which has gone through the highs and the lows, but you still remain together.

The World Is In Your Way

1. The Real You
2. Hypochondria
3. Roots
4. Here For War
5. Instability
6. Chelsea
7. Covered In Sin
8. Riot
9. The Hardest Drug

What you can expect live

As for seeing Dragged Under live? Unless you already have a ticket for The Used, your best bet would be to see them on their ‘No Days Off Tour’ Headliner. There are scattered dates which will be outlined below, but we can promise that you will not be left unfulfilled. Each member of Dragged Under possesses a commanding aspect in their stage presence, and each night they kill it while they give the art their all. We were able to catch and shoot their set while they were in Portland, Oregon and heck, do we have to say that they have improved immensely since the last time we’ve seen them in Seattle. Not saying that they weren’t impressive, but it proves that this is the road these five have earned and were destined for.

Heavy bass drops, high paced vocals and extreme amounts of energy. Their set-list consists of seven songs: ‘Here For War’, ‘Riot’, ‘The Real You’, ‘Chelsea’, ‘State of the Union’ (Rise Against), ‘Instability’ and ‘Hypochondria‘. The crowd was more than captivated right out of the gate with ‘Here for War‘ and it didn’t slow down for a moment. Between Tony, Hans, Josh and Fluff it was surprising that no one fell off the stage and I am pretty certain that Tony had bashed his shins on the barricade climbing back out from the front row. On Sunday, Kalen definitely broke a sweat as Hawthorne Theater was cram packed at capacity, but he pulled through and didn’t show any signs that he was about to stop. All in All? They’re crushing it and we look forward to seeing what else they’re capable of.

If you missed your chance to see them in your city, don’t be discouraged as there will definitely be more in the near future. Be sure to add, like, follow, stream and share their music with your friends and also don’t forget to support your local music scenes. Your presence means the world to these bands and will also help continue the production of underrated artists who have the potential to make it.

Photos and Article by Sara Scott of SSNW

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE: North American Tour Sold Out

January 31st, 2020 (Los Angeles, CA) – That’s it. All tickets for the upcoming My Chemical Romance tour have sold out in roughly six hours. Killjoys from around the world had waited in anticipation for a shot to make it through the waiting room, queues, and lines in order to purchase tickets for a highly sought after North American Tour.

“It was the roar of the crowd that gave me heartache to sing.”
Disenchanted – My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance posted had posted on Facebook a huge thank you for all of the fans who purchased tickets. Even though the band stated that there was no way that they would come back again, they managed to surprise us all nine years later.

On Wednesday, tour was announced via a short film titled “A summoning…”

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE: First US Tour in Nine Years

January 29th (Los Angeles, CA) — It has been nine years since My Chemical Romance toured the US. Following their sold out show at the Shrine Auditorium in LA on December 20th, it has finally been announced the My Chem will be touring the United States once more starting September 9th in Detroit, MI and wrapping up on Las Vegas, NV on October 11th. Not only are they kicking it off in the United States, they’re making monumental moves overseas. Starting in late March, including two sold out shows in Milton Keynes, England estimating roughly 130,000 ticket sales in less then one hour. 

It’s with this landmark concert that MCR ceases to be a nostalgic act, and proves its mettle as a timeless, rock & roll band for the ages.

Rolling Stone

My Chemical Romance made their debut in 2002, independently releasing I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me You Love and quickly signing to Reprise Records the following year. In 2004, My Chem released the major label debut Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge which is now certified 3 times platinum. The album contains certified-platinum and our favorite hit “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”, and two gold-certified tracks “Helena” and “The Ghost of You”.

Rolling Stone has hailed The Black Parade as one of the top albums of 2006, while the title track “Welcome to the Black Parade” topped Billboard’s Alternative Songs and the UK’s Official Singles charts, the track which is now 3x platinum and easily the most recognizable one note song by fans everywhere.

It was physically impossible to stand in that room and not understand to the core of your being why this band means so much to so many people.


The success of My Chemical Romance does not end there, in 2008 the band released a live album title The Black Parade is Dead! while touring exclusively. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys released in 2010 topping Billboard’s Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums charts, which was followed by a series of singles that made up the Conventional Weapons release in 2013. It’s been seven years since a new track has been seen from My Chemical Romance and yet they still manage to rack up half a billion global streams each year.

Get ready as tickets for the US Tour go on sale on January 31st at noon (12pm) local time here


Sep 9th – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena

Sep 11th – St Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center

Sep 12th – Chicago, IL – RIOT FEST

Sep 14th – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena  

Sep 15th – Boston, MA – TD Garden  

Sep 17th – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center

Sep 18th – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center

Sep 20th – Atlanta, GA – MUSIC MIDTOWN – PIEDMONT PARK  

Sep 22nd – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center

Sep 26th – Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center

Sep 29th – Houston, TX – Toyota Center

Sep 30th – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center

Oct 2nd – Denver, CO – Pepsi Center

Oct 4th – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome

Oct 6th – Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena

Oct 8th – Los Angeles, CA – The Forum

Oct 10th – Sacramento, CA – AFTERSHOCK

Oct 11th – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena

For ALL My Chemical Romance Tour Dates, Click Here.

AMON AMARTH: The Vikings Are Coming


Amon Amarth
Release Historically Accurate Video For
’Shield Wall’
Watch Here

Historic Raid On North America With
Arch Enemy, At The Gates And Grand Magus
Currently Underway
Tickets On Sale From

LOS ANGELES, CA September 26th 2019 – Heavy metal overlords Amon Amarth have released a brand new video for their stomping, anthemic call to arms ‘Shield Wall’. The rabble rousing new video chronicles the plight of an enemy ship come to invade a viking village. But, as Johan Hegg’s gutteral growl chants ‘Vikings, Raise The Shield Wall, Hold the Front Line, Fight Till Death‘, the fate of the enemy becomes uncertain. Who will emerge victorious from battle? Watch the video below to find out.

Directed by Phil Wallis and produced by Alexander Milas/Twin V Ltd – the same team behind Amon Amarth‘s 2018 feature-length documentary The Pursuit of Vikings – the aim of Shield Wall was to produce a historically accurate portrayal of the battlefield tactics that Vikings were known and also notorious for. Working closely with noted Viking scholar and battle reenactor Igor Górewicz of the Triglav and Jomsborg vikings, the video was shot on location in Wolin, Poland – site of the world-renowned annual Festival of Slavs and Vikings – and featured extras from the worlds’ foremost Viking reenactment groups, including Triglav, Maximas von Bracey’s Ulflag and Germany’s Blóðvítnir, longtime friends of Amon Amarth whose longtime member Sana portrays the story’s raiding party commander.

As well as felling enemies with their impenetrable wall of shields, Amon Amarth have descended from the land of ice and snow to headline a history-making charge across North America with fellow Swedish warlords Arch EnemyAt The Gates and Grand Magus. Carnage is on the menu as the tour continues across North America.

The Berserker World Tour, presented by The Noise will be a showcase of the riffing havoc captured on their 11th studio album, Berserker, and will treat fans to the kind of pulverising riffage and sublime, fist-in-the-air anthems the band have come to be known for, because no words are more synonymous with Amon Amarth than unrivaled songcraft and unswerving commitment to no-bullshit heavy fucking metal – and now they have a landmark tour to match.

Speaking on this most epic of tours, Amon Amarth say:

Berserkers! We will lead a Swedish metal invasion of North America this September and October along with our friends Arch Enemy, At The Gates and Grand Magus. Come fight and feast with us and earn your seat in the great golden hall. This raid is pure heavy fucking metal and not to be missed!”

Michael Amott of Arch Enemy adds:

“Arch Enemy is very much looking forward to invading North America together with Swedish Viking kings Amon Amarth and our Metal brothers in At The Gates and Grand Magus! Miss this Swedish Heavy Metal apocalypse at your own peril!” 

Finally, JB of Grand Magus enthuses:

“I would say that epic is the most fitting word to describe this happening. It’s an honour to be part of this gathering of metal giants and we will do our damnedest to make it a memory for life for all who will bang their heads with us during this adventure!”

Berserker World Tour
Raid Of North America Dates 
September 24 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades* Amon Amarth Only
September 26 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO
September 27 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
September, 28 – Vancouver, BC – PNE Forum
September 30 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Convention Centre
October 1 – Calgary, AB – Grey Eagle
October 3 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
October 4 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
October 6 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theater
October 7 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theater
October 9 – Toronto, ON – Rebel
October 10 – Montreal, QC – M Telus
October 11 – Montreal, QC – M Telus
October 12 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom
October 13 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
October 15 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
October 16 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
October 18 – New Orleans, LA – The Fillmore
October 19 – Houston, TX – House Of Blues
October 20 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theatre
October 22 – Phoenix, AZ – Van Buren
October 23 – Las Vegas, NV – House Of Blues
October 25 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
October 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Palladium

Tickets are on sale now from AmonAmarth.com
Pick up Amon Amarth’s new album ‘Berserker’ here


Sleeping With Sirens Logo

Sixth Studio Album
‘How It Feels To Be Lost’Out Today.
Listen Here

“Their best LP yet!” – Alternative Press
“Sleeping With Sirens have produced some of their finest work to date” – Kerrang!
 “this album brings the band back to their original post-hardcore roots.” – Music Mayhem

Official Music Video For Title Track
Also Released Today

Friday September 6th – The wait is over! ‘How It Feels To Be Lost‘, the highly anticipated, sixth studio album from gold certified band, Sleeping With Sirens is out now on Sumerian Records. Available here

As if the release of the new album wasn’t enough, Sleeping With Sirens have also dropped their brand new music video for the album’s title track. Watch ‘How It Feels To Be Lost’ here and below and listen to it on Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ playlist.

‘How It Feels To Be Lost’ has been heralded as a major return to the band’s earlier, heavier form. The band have released 3 tracks from the record so far, ‘Leave It All Behind’, ‘Break Me Down’ and ‘Agree To Disagree’. Combined, these trackshave clocked up over 6 million streams on Spotify, 3.3 million views on Youtube and have been featured on flagship streaming playlists including Spotify’s ‘Rock This’ and ‘New Core’, Amazon Music’s ‘Rock Scene’ as well as being included on Apple Music’s ‘Breaking Hard Rock’, Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ & ‘Kickass Metal’ and Deezer’s ‘Heavy New Rock’.

Early reviews from the press have been unanimously positive with Alternative Press stating “Sleeping With Sirens aren’t the band you remember: they’re better” and claiming that ‘How It Feels To Be Lost‘ is “their best LP yet”. Loudwire say “every song on How It Feels to Be Lost, beginning with the opening track and first single, “Leave It All Behind,” contains as much aggressiveness as it does melody and vulnerability” and both Kerrang! and Upset call the album “a return to form” with Kerrang! enthusing ‘“Sleeping With Sirens have produced some of their finest work to date”.

Since emerging in 2010, Sleeping With Sirens have tested the boundaries of rock by walking a tightrope between pop, punk, metal, hardcore, electronic, acoustic, and even a little R&B. This high-wire balancing act attracted a faithful fan base known as “Strays,” generated global album sales in excess of 1.5 million, ignited over half-a-billion streams, and achieved a trio of gold-selling singles: “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn,” “If You Can’t Hang,” and “Scene Two-Roger Rabbit.” They launched two albums—Feel and Madness—into the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200. They have graced magazine covers around the globe having been featured on the cover of Alternative Press a whopping seven, soon to be eight, times when this month’s issue drops next week.

Now, the band are wiping the slate clean and turning the page to the next chapter. Sleeping With Sirens re-center, recalibrate, and realign on their sixth full-length and first album for Sumerian Records, ‘How It Feels to Be Lost’, which was recorded at MDDN Studios in Los Angeles and produced by Zakk Cervini (Yungblud & Good Charlotte) and Matt Good (Asking Alexandria).

How It Feels To Be Lost
Track Listing

1. Leave It All Behind
2. Never Enough
3. How It Feels To Be Lost
4. Agree To Disagree
5. Ghost
6. Blood Lines
7. Break Me Down
8. Another Nightmare
9. PS Missing You
10. Medicine
11. Dying To Believe

Sleeping With Sirens will be hitting the road this fall for ‘The Threesome’ Tour with Bring Me The Horizon and Poppy.

Kicking off in Phoenix on October 10th, the tour will play 9 shows across the country culminating in Miami at The Filmore.

Threesome TourBring Me The Horizon, Sleeping With Sirens and Poppy
10/10 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
10/14 – Portland, OR @ Theatre Of The Clouds
10/16 – Seattle, WA @ WAMU Theater
10/18 – Las Vegas, NV @ Las Rageous
10/19 – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
10/21 – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Criterion
10/22 – Kansas City, MO @ Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
10/25 – San Antonio, TX @ Sunken Garden Theater
10/28 – Tampa, FL @ The Cuban Club
10/29 – Miami, FL @ The Fillmore

The band will also be performing at Exit 111 Fest in Manchester, TN on October 12 and Las Rageous Festival in Las Vegas, NV on October 18.
Info and tickets for all shows available at SirensMusic.co

Retro Jade: The Interview

Finding Retro Jade was a task to be honest, first hearing of them through the social grapevine. Then finding a music video and becoming even more interested. I couldn’t find more and I wanted to find more. Eventually I came across them in my Facebook feed and I knew I had to talk about them. Soon after, I began speaking to Nikko Pisciotti (Lead Vocals) and an interview was set up and ready. Here now is the final cut. Formatted to fit your screen.

SSNW: Where did the name “Retro Jade” come from?

Retro Jade (Nikko): “I came up with the name, I was reading some books, and there was a group in this one book. Had a name like ‘The Jade Sons’, ‘Order of The Jade’, and I really liked the color of it. So really, I was just messing with different patterns of words. Kinda like that game ‘Mash’ you know? But it fit, and I kinda knew it had fit when I saw it and it was nice, like it was something that I didn’t have to try and think about.

SSNW: Currently, “Bad Company” seems to be the only released song. Can we expect the rest of your music to have that same sound?

RJ (Bryan): “So, Bad Company, for the most part is, besides Nikko, a different band. A whole different group. Such as Gus is the Drummer, I’m the Guitarist, and Ramesses is the Bassist. So, with Nikko being the singer, the way he imparts his style onto the music, you’ll definitely get some of his elements. Plus our mood is still the same with the Rock and Roll, and the Bluesy-ish, gumbo mash up thing.

SSNW: What genre would you place yourselves into?

RJ (Bryan): “I think right now, if you check our site, I don’t remember who titled us “Soul groove”. And hey, I’m not denying it, I’m not playing it either. But we’re definitely in that camp. We fit in then with it,  and we fit in now.

SSNW: Is there any sort of album or EP in the near future, or anything we can expect as listeners?

RJ (Gus): “Yes, we’re going to be working on it during Summer.”

RJ (Bryan): “We have, more than enough material for it. And right now we’re just in the process of picking how many songs, what kind of release, if we want an EP or a full album.  Also with each of us having such a meticulous sound, we just need to find the right studio and engineer who knows how to dial us in the way we want. But we understand that for as long as we’ve been p[laying and the fan base we’ve accumulated, people do want something they can play on their systems. So it’s all definitely in the process on that.

SSNW: I (personally) heard a rumor that you all record on campus at Evergreen State College, is that true?

RJ(Gus): (A chuckle.) “Well. we definitely wanted to. We tried. But it did not work out. The guys that would be recording us, they had some technical difficulties. We ended getting completely set up, but never got any sound into the board. It was a complete bummer. We spent, like three or four hours in the studio that day too.

SSNW: Do you each individually individually, have past musical experiences?

RJ(Ramesses): “Yeah, so I’ve been playing for, I don’t even know. Ten? Eleven years at this point? But I’ve been playing Bass with Bryan since at least High School. Club 27. We recorded an EP back in the day, and played some shows in town. When I moved to Washington, I played with Lab Potions for, five years. Than we disbanded, because everybody moved. But I guess I’ve been playing in bands for a good chunk of my life. I love it, I love playing for people, and recording music.”

RJ (Nikko): “I guess I’ll go next, I played guitar for the first time when I was 15, my Grandma got me the old Takamine from Costco. So I got into it, and I guess my parents realized I wasn’t doing it because other people where doing it, because I wanted to do it. And I just kept playing. Eventually got a Fender Squire and started playing electric guitar. My dad got me some recording equipment, and I started messing with recording, and because I didn’t want to ask anyone else to sing, and I kinda just started singing. Actually, my choir teacher cohorst me into taking Choir. And it was a great way to slowly get out of my box. I joined a band when I was like, nineteen, so maybe, 2013. But they were called Blue Laces, and we played a little too much cover music for my taste. But it was fun, but I really got my chops there.  

RJ(Bryan): “So Ramesses and I actually grew up together in Virginia, and we’ve known each other since the fourth grade. And we started Club 27 in the early stages of High School. Maybe ninth or tenth grade. I picked up the guitar at thirteen, and at first I thought I was going to be a drummer, and I’d play Rock Band with my friends and while I was cycling through songs, on expert drums mode. But that’s when I started to like the rifts and I love rhythm too. Which I think is the universal to all instruments. Is you have to have rhythm to do it. But I decided for Christmas, right before my thirteenth birthday, I’d ask for a guitar, just because I wanted to do that. So ever since then, I had a Fender Starcaster, and I ran that thing into the dirt. But my parents saw me play this thing until it fell apart, and I’d like to thank my family for being so supportive of my musical interests since I’ve shown any. I play a Gibson right now that was a graduation gift from them and I love that thing.”

RJ(Gus): “So, I kind of share the same history with the Rock Band, the first instrument I picked up was the guitar, my dad had one lying around. I remember listening to Tom Morello do the DJ scratch on the guitar. And I realized I didn’t need chords to make noise. I was taking guitar lessons when I was eleven or twelve, and since my mom is a designer, we would got o her clients houses and one had this electronic drum kit. And I would always ask if she was going over there so I could go bang on the drum set. Since none of their kids ever used it, they actually gifted it to me one year. I think when I was older, they knew I was never going to put it down, they got me an actual drum set. My first band after that was this psychedelic metal band. It was all in like, C sharp. I came to Evergreen, I met another guy and we played in a death metal band with him for a bit. And as the teen angst settled down, and my musical avenues changed, at this point I met Bryan, we talked about playing together, finally got around to it, and here we are.

SSNW: Are you currently signed to a record label or is this an independent endeavor?

RJ (Nikko): “I think I can answer that one, I looked at it as even though this guy is kind of outside or genre, (Retro Jade is currently signed to BLM records) Macklemore was I think an independent, when he released The Heist, but he got, deals with labels for distribution and to help distribute his album. So he wasn’t owned by whoever he signed a label to. I think it shows a shift in the market and the industry in general. I’m no expert in the field, but I’d say a mix of us recording and owning our own music, but having corporate help.”

SSNW: How did you guys meet?

RJ (Bryan): “Sure, I think I can speak for the three of us.” (Motioning to Gus, himself and Ramesses.) “So when I decided I wanted to go back to school, and I had been looking for drummers and singers and I’d sit in at Open Mics and Karaoke and talk to people who I thought fit what sound I was looking for. Then, I had been to a couple house shows and it was than when I saw Gus playing in a band. I noticed him, didn’t really talk to him, because I didn’t want to steal this bands drummer, for a project that hasn’t even started yet. So we ended up meeting through mutual friends, and we met at this bar we used to frequent. And in passing, take a couple of shots and bullshit with each other than go our separate ways. Than at the end of every conversation we’d say ‘We have to jam together sometime!’ and that of course, repeated itself until one day we did end up jamming. It was a quick mesh, Gus wasn’t so in the metal scene, so he could see where I was going. We had a band, called Djinn and we had this keyboardist that we know down here. So we got him on it, and eventually got called Sugar Mama before things started to fall through with scheduling. So when Ramsses become more available, and he wasn’t playing in his other band, we’d all jam together. Gus and I went to Open Mic at Buzz’s and eventually that’s when we crossed paths with Nikko, and from the initial meeting, it eventually found its way into all of us meshing together.

SSNW: As someone who has not seen a Retro Jade show, what can we expect from a live performance?

RJ (Bryan): “A good friend of mine, who is almost religiously at all our shows, told me recently and he said something sets us apart, is that we don’t fit in the same group for too long. We’re very cut and dry. Be prepared for a surprise. And even in one song, theres a lot of dynamic, where at one point everyone’s borderline moshing and and the next thing you know, it’s sit down and really listen, and feel into that. We try to give something for everyone to enjoy, we don’t have a demographic. We want to spread to every ear that will listen.”

RJ (Nikko): “Definitely rhythm based, if you’re looking for that explanation, interactive with the audience.”

SSNW: Do you have any upcoming shows to advertise, or are you going to hint without saying explicitly?

RJ (Gus): “Well, coming up we have that McCoy’s show, that’s local Oly. (Olympia)

RJ (Bryan): “We’re plugging Hempfest. We got the Hempfest gig this year in Seattle. We’re really going to bring the noise for that.

RJ (Nikko): “August Sixteenth, Three PM. Main Stage. We’re also doing the Yelm UFO Festival at the Thurston County Fair Yards. Technically we’re headlining the whole festival too.”

RJ (Bryan): “And then we have RiveStock. It’s down over by Rife Lake.

SSNW: What’s your guys’s favorite venues to play at?

RJ (Bryan): “I think we like the Rhythm and Rye, because it has such a big stage, it has accommodating space. Which is real important to me, and to us, which is the ability to stretch your legs. That’s the most frequent one that we play that can accommodate that need.”

RJ (Gus): “I think as though for us to be at our best, we also need decent sound equipment. So when the stage and the space can accommodate our needs to make the music sound the way its supposed to be, it’s the little larger stage and the good equipment.

SSNW: Do you each prefer playing live or playing in the studio?

RJ: (Full resounding answer in favor of live)

SSNW: For upcoming artists who want to find the same success?

RJ (Bryan): “I think you just have to love what you do. Because I know a couple musicians who are ready to pump out what’s hot, Just so they have something to give to people. And not having any true emotional investment in it. Regardless of the concerts, the fans, the shows, I can say we’d all be happy just playing together. You gotta want the music to make it.”

RJ (Gus): “Enjoy practice. We always have fun at practice, no matter what attitude I have going into practice, I come out always in a good mood. Practice should not feel like a chore.”

SSNW: Do you have any entertaining stories as a band that you’re willing to share?

RJ (Gus): “My gears split from the rear axle. I got my car all loaded up, I made one turn on the way and there was this big, tearing sound. Every time I accelerated, there was this bad, awful noise. I didn’t go on the highway, I went slow, through town, and for some reason every time I turned it was worse. So when I got to the gig, I made a U-turn and the axle separated, I could only roll.”

RJ (Bryan): “Gus came careening into the area and he said ‘Hey, I can’t really move my car right now.’ At first I thought he was just joking, like not as dire as he said. Upon further inspection, that car had quit right as he got there. I was cool that it made it. He had it loaded, drum gear, equipment, everything.

SSNW: Do you each have something you’d wish to plug at this time?

RJ (Nikko): “Well, after our issue with the studio, if there’s any sort of Audio Engineers if they want to help us out. We have a team already, but definitely any producers or people that want to help out, feel free to email us. (EMAIL) It’s a call for help, we can’t do this on our own. The whole ‘build it and they will come’ mantra has been our thing.

SSNW: What’s your process for writing the new music, such as do you each have your own individual parts?

RJ (Bryan): “Really, it just takes getting us all in the same room.  Next thing you know we have a couple songs just from one little jam session during a smoke break. It’s a lot of our process, we’ll bring our own ideas and we’ll bring it to the rest. Really, we can hang out and something will be created of it, every time.

SSNW: What is your individual music preferences?

RJ (Bryan): I have always been a proprietor of good sound, so I’ve spent money putting a nice sub-woofer and system into my car, as well as speakers and that, for the best audio output. I do spend a little more than I need to, or I did. But there’s like, Trap Music I’ll listen to, but also I’m really into blues. Albert King, all the way through modern stuff. So, that brings the fusion of jazz into my music. My girlfriend loves Tool, so I hear that, and I appreciate all music.”

RJ (Gus): “I, ironically don’t listen to music, or most things. Sometimes, I listen to the things that I’m making. My CD and radio player is broken, but I do listen to alot of drum education videos. Also Low-fi hip hop, old school hip hop. I’ve been making myself listen to more pop and rap even though I don’t like it, just to hear what they’re using, how they sound. Like, studying the structure of it, and how they sound.”

RJ (Nikko): “I’m a lot like Gus, in that way that I won’t listen to a ton of music, but sometimes I’ll listen to the same music over and over. Lately, I’ve been listening to Afro Beat, The Family Stone, Temples, James Brown, Van Halen, I like rhythm and texture in my music.

RJ (Ramesses): “I feel like it changes for me, based on my mood. If I’m going to a show, to pump myself up I’ll “listen to some Migos, something to get me into the hype mood. Or if I’m just cruising, I’ll listen to Queens Of The Stone Age. Mostly it depends on my mood.”

SSNW: Can we expect Retro Jade to be in full band mode in the coming moons?

RJ (Nikko): “Yeah, we want to record, and we want to do, we’re here to play.”

SSNW: Is there any sort of closing remarks you’d like to add?

RJ (Bryan): “Well, thank you for giving us an interview, if anyone seems interested, check us out and you won’t be disappointed.”

RJ (Gus): “Come to the shows, we’re nice guys, we’d love to meet you.”

Check out the events for Retro Jade below:


REVIEW: Rockstar Energy Drink Disrupt

Austin, TX – June 22nd, 2019, As with nearly every concert we have been to in Texas, it was expected to be hot.  Ninety-Two (92) degrees hot to be exact, adding in the 80% humidity, it felt like 101. For a Seattlite, that was ridiculous as we normally only reach those temperatures near the middle to the end of August. Needless to say, we were prepared to take on the heat and were ready for the day. 

Austin360, is a large open venue with minimal shade from the sun. Two large canopies were provided to escape the heat and were in full use. As were free water-spots to refill water bottles. There was a bit of outrage with the festival rules that many felt were asinine. Fanny packs were not allowed, and reusable water bottles were not permitted even if they were empty. Not to mention that festival-goers were also limited to one unopened 20-ounce bottle. That doesn’t seem like enough when the body is faced with high-heat and excessive humidity. 

While originally it was mentioned that there would be plenty of vendors, brands and other pop-ups, they were scarce. An exact count wasn’t made, but excluding merch tents only a handful were external vendors. It wasn’t impressive, and I am hoping that it was an off-day, but being a Saturday, that is pretty hard to believe. For a venue that holds a cap of 14,000, and closing the H-E-B lawn, it was clear that the numbers for turnout were not being met. With light crowds and one band playing at a time, there wasn’t much of a festival vibe. Instead it felt more like a bigger concert in a venue that was much too large. 

Getting on with the show. Let’s make it clear that Andy Black was unable to make it due to poor weather conditions, the lineup was changed to make up for the unfortunate cancellation. The festival stage didn’t begin music until 2:00pm starting off with Hyro The Hero. While the band was packed full of energy, there were not many individuals present and it seemed as though that would be the same running through the entire day. They sounded fantastic and were very engaging, but the numbers weren’t there. Juliet Simms drew a larger crowd, and there were a few individuals who really got into the music. Simms is a great performer, but there were few interactions and crowd hype moments, it felt as though there was a bit of a disconnect. Having been listening to Trophy Eyes on repeat leading up to the event. They were the band that I was most excited for coming in. Even though they sounded amazing the performance wasn’t on pointe and left me wanting more.

With hope that things would start to fire up as Four Year Strong took the stage, those expectations were met. By now the crowd started to fill in a bit more and there was more interaction. When shooting a set, I want to feel as though there is too much action for me to capture within the three song limit. That was what Four Year Strong did for me. With high kicks and the hyped up Pop-Punk and Melodic Hardcore I felt as though I was in the zone. Amped and ready. Sleeping with Sirens took the stage with nothing but pure energy. It was clear that they are seasoned veterans in the scene and it shows with the interaction and heat they brought. Kellin at one point removed himself from the stage and entered the crowd which was a definite turn from the previous bands on the festival stage and the first half of the day ended on a content note. 

Entering the arena for the Main Stage, I was again noticing the lack of people that filled the pit area and the seats. This festival would have had so much more potential if it was in a smaller venue or even a more intimate setting. Memphis May Fire kicked off the main stage, these performers are always in a constant state of motion. Matty Mullins makes it a point to move from each section of the stage in order to interact with fans from all corners of the venue.

As expected from The Story So Far, their set sounded great, but there was an ultimate lack of motion from all members. When watching a performance I hold some expectations in place. Being able to captivate the audience is high on that list. Having the ability to pull in concert-goers and getting them amped to watch you play is a very important trait to have. After seeing TSSF on the main stage, I felt they would have done better on the Festival Stage, especially with such a low turnout.

Things turned around drastically when Circa Survive took the stage. Within seconds the energy had shot through the figurative roof and the crowd exploded. Anthony Green leapt from the stage onto the barrier interacting with fans within moments. Back on stage about halfway through the opening song, mic stands were being thrown alongside the microphone itself. While the weather started to cool, the energy started to pick up giving this event the vibe it needed from the beginning. After the three song slot for photographers, our cameras were stowed and the majority made our way back out to watch the rest of the performance. 

Met with the cool vibe of Thrice, the once hyped up crowd slowly was brought down into a wave of peace. Their set needed pause as an injury occurred in the pit and medics were called in with a stretcher. Sure this caused a minor set back in time slots, but Dustin Kensrue (Thrice) made sure the individual was taken care of prior to resetting and starting their performance once more. While Thrice manages a slower pace it was needed after a long day in the heat, and in preparation of The Used who were headlining.

Theatrics are of no surprise when it comes to The Used, to begin a huge white curtain blocked the entire view of the stage and a short film was projected. Seconds after the kabuki drop the crowd was met with the iconic heart from ‘In Love and Death’ and that instant high energy as is expected from The Used.

All in all, it has to be said even if it is negative. Rockstar missed out on a huge opportunity to combat the loss of Warped Tour. There was so much more that could have been done to make the debut of Disrupt Fest a success and it was definitely lacking. Yes, I did enjoy myself and it was worth attending, but if the line-up next time isn’t impressive, I’ll have to pass.

Review/Photos by Sara Lindsey (Scott)

Seattle, WA Music News