The band Fozzy has really always been about one thing: having fun. What started out for guitarist Rich Ward as a weekend cover band soon became an internationally signed act with the biggest star in professional wrestling, Chris Jericho, as its lead singer. Their first few releases still had Fozzy playing covers but with adopted stage names and a backstory written for the movies. When you have such high-energy performers like Ward and Jericho – it still is debatably on who jumps higher, Ward on stage with his guitar or Jericho in the ring – creating a 'for fun' band was easy, however Ward and Jericho aren't just entertainers. Ward is probably one of the greatest and unjustly so, underrated riffers in rock and metal today. Jericho singing ability and overall passion for music makes one wonder just how he is able to find the time to excel in pretty much everything he does. It was these qualities that pushed the band to drop alter egos, get rid of the backstory and write original music.
Over the course of the next 7 years, the band did just that; three albums worth to be exact. The records were fit in between Jericho's wrestling, TV and writing career. It wasn't until 2012's Sin & Bones though that the band really started to hit their stride. Jericho was winding down his involvement with sports, the band was touring more than ever before and their live show was as strong as ever. The entertainment, the fun factor, the showmanship were all there and in full force. More so than any point in their band's career.
I'd be on stage looking out in the crowd and see such an interesting mix of people out there, comments Jericho, young kids, older long haired guys with ponytails, the denim and leather wearing dudes, Stuck Mojo fans, people that just knew me from my wrestling career, but the thing is they all had one thing in common; they were having fun. They were dancing, grooving, whether they wanted to or not. To me, that's what Fozzy has always been about and I think with this new record, we really captured that vibe.
Do You Wanna Start A War, out June 24th in North America, was once again produced by Ward. It features 12 tracks, including the singles, Lights Go Out, the title track and the ABBA (yes ABBA) cover, SOS. The band will kick off the album promotion playing at this year's Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion, Rockfest and many other shows throughout the US. By the time the album is released, a horde of fans will have seen Fozzy live and heard new tracks off the album. They will have witnessed one of the greatest performances they've ever seen, they will have witnessed one of the best frontman in any genre of music sing some of the catchiest songs they've heard in ages and most importantly, they will have had the best time in their lives doing it.
KYNG the southern California hard rock trio, originated in January of 2008 in Los Angeles. Singer/songwriter Eddie Veliz bassist, Tony Castaneda and drummer Pepe Clarke Magana, after years of working off and on with each other on various projects, decided to propagate the idea of a band that would closer fulfill their musical desires. Within months of sessioning the three were sold on the chemistry and shortly after that went into the studio to record their debut album. The sound they realized was exactly what they had sought after, a unique and universally appealing combination of heavy and captivating concepts, channeling influences from black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin to the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age. "We wanted a band that could stand alongside anything in the scene, have the ability to crossover seamlessly and still bridge who we are." KYNG's versatile approach of a sweet devastation bleeds from an artistic drive toward a momentum described as "California Heavy". Their evolution will undoubtedly blaze a trail that redefines what is expected and defines the giants they will become.
Their first album, Trampled Sun, on REALID Records is set to hit the streets of the US and the World Wide Web September 27 while their first two singles, Falling Down and Trails in Veins, both mixed by Mike Watts (Adelita's Way, Hopesfall, Quicksand, Brand New), are set to take over the airwaves and online channels mid July and will be available at iTunes July 26th. The digital deluxe of Trampled Sun will contain 15 tracks exemplifying the bands great range and how much music KYNG has to offer the planet earth.
The Los Angeles based trio, hailing from LA and parts of Mexico, is as unique in spirit as their sound. Reminiscent at times of the metal and hard rock of the late 1970's in style and musical collection, with a presentation that is totally heavy, classic and modern-day all at once, they are sure to refresh the Active Rock and Metal landscapes of today and tomorrow. As drummer Pepe Clarke Magaña puts it, "I think we're doing stuff, or a combination of stuff that has been done before, in a way it's never been done before." Their sound on Trampled Sun easily provokes the question, "Is that really just 3 dudes?" The pipes on Eddie Veliz reminiscent of Cornell is his early days, the thunder brought by Pepe Clarke Magaña on the drums and the rolling rhythms brought by bassist Tony Castañeda have KYNG meant for great things.
Completing dates with The Sword, KYNG is currently out with Black Stone Cherry and Pop Evil and plan on touring forever as the road is the life's blood of any young hard rock band looking to take over the world. In the land of pigs, the butcher is KYNG.
Sons of Texas
There is nothing subtle about Texas. There is a reason why we use the term "Texas-sized" to describe anything in life that's exaggeratedly large, from posteriors, to bong hits, to jugs of beer. This boldness, naturally, extends to the Lone Star's musical exports, loud n' proud legendary artists like ZZ Top, Pantera, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among many others. Now, firmly in that cocksure lineage, is a mighty bluesy metal band from McAllen, Texas aptly named, Sons Of Texas.
The young quintet's debut, Baptized In The Rio Grande—produced by the iconic Josh Wilbur (Lamb Of God, Crowbar, Chiodos, Hatebreed)—is a Texas-sized portion of power metal grooves, dazzling guitar solos, strip joint/tailgate sing-along choruses, and soulfully charred vocal melodies. It took Wilbur 20 seconds of a YouTube clip to recognize this young band truly inherited the gonads of its Lone Star forefathers and sign on to work with the quintet.
"We're proud of being a Texas hard rock band, that's everything to us," affirmsrhythm guitarist Jon Olivarez. "Texas is the biggest state, has a great history of football teams, and an astounding music legacy."
Sons Of Texas was spawned in McAllen, Texas, a valley town without the music legacy of Austin or Arlington. The scene vibes "music for music's sake" with metalcore bands, blues-rock bands, and straight up rock n' roll bands swapping members and sharing bills. Sons Of Texas solidified in 2013 around a lineup of local all stars. The group is Mark Morales, vocals, Mike Villarreal, drums, Nick Villarreal, bass, Jon Olivarez, rhythm guitar, and Jes De Hoyos, lead guitar.
Despite being just in their mid 20s, never having recorded an album, and having only existed for about a year, the guys play with seasoned authenticity and fiery brilliance. The guitar duo of Jon Olivarez and Jes De Hoyos boastthat classic rhythm and lead division of labor of Metallica's Hetfield and Hammett, Testament's Alex Sklonick and Eric Peterson, and Megadeth's Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman. Sons Of Texas has that rare gift of having a rhythm section of brothers—Nick and Mike Villarreal—so the grooves are telepathic and deeply in the pocket. And vocalist Mark Morales has a blood raw expressiveness evoking Phil Anselmo, Chris Cornell, and Zakk Wylde.
Baptized In The Rio Grande is an album for raising hell and enduring hard times. The record spans good old bad boy anthems like "Texas Trim" and "Baptized In The Rio Grande," the stately ballad territory of the haunting "September," and the dead end job-frustration of "Pull It And Fire." The standout "Blameshift" showcases the guys have modern rock radio potential without sacrificing heft for hooks.
The past year has been a blessing for the Sons Of Texas. Inking a record deal and working with a producer of Wilbur's caliber doesn't happen for bands in the Rio Grande region of McAllen, Texas. Olivarez explains: "People always told us to move to Austin, but we stuck with our hometown and made something of ourselves. We take a lot of pride in being one of the first Valley bands to get these opportunities. "