Carnival of Madness with Evanescence
"Making this record has been really intense," explains Lee. "Terry suffered a stroke last October and is still recovering, we got a new manager [Andy Lurie], and I've come out of a difficult breakup. But everything we've been through together has benefited this album." With Fallen, says Lee, the band had much to prove while defining its identity. This time, finding a cohesive writing partner in Terry Balsamo, "we really took our time crafting this album and had the freedom to express a broader range of emotions: not just pain and sadness, but also anger and, yes, even happiness." Written late last year, The Open Door was recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles and mixed at Ocean Way Studios in March 2006. Marking the return of long-time friend and producer Dave Fortman, the album's musical elements include a classically-infused choir and strings on several tracks, giving further color to songs of introspection, longing, doubt, self-respect and, ultimately, empowerment. The album opens with "Sweet Sacrifice," a post-relationship catharsis that head-dives from an otherworldly intro into a hard-driving thrash of hard rock guitars and soaring rock vocals. Its first single, the mid-tempo "Call Me When You're Sober," reinforces the moving-away-from-dysfunction theme. Other standout tracks on The Open Door include "Lithium," which embraces feeling over numbness, "All That I'm Living For," Lee's tribute to band life, "Weight of the World," her plea for perspective from the expectation of young fans, and "Good Enough," a string-and-choir-infused closer distinguished as the band's first truly (almost) contented song ("It feels really good ending the album this way," says Lee). Having toured for a year-and-a-half straight with only a month off following the release of Fallen, Evanescence hopes to hit the road this time out with a care not to neglect key markets worldwide. Its U.S. tour begins immediately after the October 3rd release of The Open Door, rewarding hardcore fans with a "sneak peak" of the album during a handful of more intimate theater dates before segueing into much larger arena shows.
Originally hailing from Little Rock, Arkansas, the band's evolving sound - a nearly mystical marriage between rock, goth and classical - was informed by a curious duality. Lee, who spent nine years studying classical piano, explains, "When I was in high school I listened to a lot of death metal bands. Both genres are intricate, complex types of music that are very dramatic, and I'm naturally drawn to that."
curious duality. Lee, who spent nine years studying classical piano, explains, "When I was in high school I listened to a lot of death metal bands. Both genres are intricate, complex types of music that are very dramatic, and I'm naturally drawn to that."
Evanescence self-released two EPs and a first full-length album, the much-sought-after Origin, before finding a home at Wind-up Records. Fallen, their major-label debut, was released in April 2003 to critical and commercial success. The internationally appealing Top 10 singles "Bring Me to Life" and "My Immortal" helped drive airplay and led to two 2003 Grammy Awards (Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for "Bring Me To Life"). Propelling the band to sales of nearly 14 million albums worldwide, Fallen spent more than 100 weeks on Billboard's Top 200 chart, was certified gold or platinum in over 35 countries, and sold out arenas globally. Anywhere But Home, their 2004 live DVD release, has sold over one million copies to date.
The inherent drama in Evanescence's music - a kind of audio odyssey that can turn on a dime from piano-led introspection to hammering guitar - has resonated with listeners everywhere. The band's aggressive core finds a counterpart in Lee's passionate vocals, lyrics that forge a connection with audiences searching for identity or struggling with feelings of desire, hope love and loss. The Open Door is a logical (but certainly not predictable) transformation of epic proportions for the band, which, in many ways has only just begun to make its mark on the music world.
New Medicine: A Verse Unsung is an electrifying and aggressive rock group of four young guys from Minneapolis. They have just finished their first EP and are making a name for themselves in the Minneapolis rock scene. The band started a year ago when Jake and Dan began hanging out and writing songs on acoustic, a year later they have a full line up and over 15 songs written.
For their first EP they decided they wouldn’t settle for just any recording studio or producer. They ended up meeting Grammy winning producer Steve Hodge and local producer Colt Leeb and things clicked. Colt and Steve showed up to few practices and helped the band establish 5 solid songs to record. They recorded “The Autumn EP" this fall in Master Mix Studio’s less than a year after the band started. “This stuff has turned out REALLY GOOD” said Steve Hodge on the last night of recording A Verse Unsung’s EP. Hodge is known for his work as an engineer under Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at the now extinct Flyte Tyme Studios in Edina. Hodge has previously worked on more than 40 No. 1Billboard hits mostly in the Pop and R&B charts. He won a Grammy Award in 2001 for his remix of Janet Jackson’s “All for you”. He now works out of Master Mix Studio’s in Minneapolis, where he and Colt recorded A Verse Unsung.
AVU has now released their first EP and sold 500 copies within the first month. They have been playing shows all around the Midwest, and are planning a 2 week spring tour and a full summer tour. The band has also started production on their next batch of songs with producers Steve Hodge and Colt Leeb. They have decided to record another 5 songs, and will be releasing them sometime this summer. They will also be featured in the March edition of Access Magazine as “Best new artist”. The Buzz continues to grow about A Verse Unsung from their fiercely aggressive performances to their hard hitting CD so next time they come through your town check out their show and pick up a copy of there new CD!
Halestorm: Hard rockers from the York, PA area. Fronted by the incredible Lzzy Hale (vox/guitar) & featuring Joe Hottinger (guitar/back vox), Josh Smith (bass/back vox) & Arejay Hale (drums)
CAVO: Ultimately, every struggling rock band wants the same thing out of life… To become big stars, to have their music heard by millions, and most importantly, to have their passion become their profession. But as the members of CAVO can attest to, the journey is a difficult one. And the effort comes at a price. What began late in 2000 as a hobby quickly became more of a serious obsession for Chris Hobbs, Chad La Roy, and Casey Walker, the founding members of this St. Louis rock band. After the release of their debut EP, A Space to Fill in 2003, some regional airplay and lots of self-belief, CAVO thought that the time had come for their shot at stardom. But it didn’t happen…
And then things started to fall apart. Their producer went AWOL. Substance abuse took its toll on one member. The marriage of another fell apart. At rock bottom in their personal lives, and just about to give up on their passion, the band decided to lock themselves away for as long as it took to focus on getting their lives together and creating new music based on their real-life experiences.
Now, nearly 3 years later in 2006, CAVO has emerged as a refreshed band, losing one member and gaining Brian Smith on bass, a new outlook and a refined sound that is sure to garner some national attention. While their second independent release, The Painful Art of Letting Go, paints a dark and desolate picture from the title of the CD, vocalist Casey Walker explains that the name only reflects one side of the multilayered album.
“There are definitely songs on this record that show the harsh realities of life and trying to keep your head above water,” he says. “Songs like ‘Awake,’ ‘Nameless’ and ‘Painful Art’ (from which the CD’s title originates) came to fruition as the band dealt with several internal and personal struggles. Those were some of the darkest times we’ve ever faced.”
He adds, “But through those struggles comes a growing process. In the end, all healing comes from ‘letting go.’ All great art comes from a place of honesty, and we weren’t satisfied by being dishonest with ourselves any longer. Songs like ‘Gone’ and ‘Waiting for Silence’ kind of wrote themselves as we came to that realization.” “The Painful Art of Letting Go provides a unique balance of opposites: happiness and sadness, shallowness and depth. Even though we’ve all experienced loss and disappointment recently, it’s made us who we are today, and we’re quite proud of what we’ve become as a band. We’ve brought closure to those issues together as a family,” concludes Walker.
So what does CAVO want out of life now? Without a doubt the answer is the same as it was in the beginning. The passion is, will always be, an obsession. These four guys have emerged on the other side, stronger than ever, and will stop at nothing to fulfill their dreams. The members of CAVO have learned a lot about life… To take things as they come, and to never lose sight of what’s really important: family, friendship and most of all, the music.