NEW MUSIC MONDAYS: BAND OF THE DAY! O-TOWN LIVE @ LEE’S PALACE – FEATURE EDITORIAL

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O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE - FRIDAE TV INTERVIEW MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 - PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS
Photo By: Fridae Mattas

NEW MUSIC MONDAY’S

BAND OF THE DAY!

 O-TOWN LIVE @ LEE’S PALACE

W/ TODD CAREY

FEATURE EDITORIAL

By: Fridae Mattas

Additional photography by: Dipan Cheema

Last Monday December 8th, America’s first reality show musical group O-Town hit Lee’s palace in Toronto. First time across the border in ten years for their only Canadian stop on the reunion tour. Before American Idol existed and Puff Daddy took over Making The Band, there was O-Town. The last “Boy band” created by convicted con-man and alleged pedophile “Lou Pearlman” who is currently serving a 25 year prison sentence. You could probably find episodes of Making The Band’s first three seasons on YouTube. Unlike “The Backstreet Boys” or “N’Sync“, O-Town’s formulation was amidst Pearlman’s extreme legal issues. They didn’t even get the chance to sustain their momentum and stray from the boy band definition. The group released two albums and disappeared, until now! O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014

Late August of this year, O-Town released their third record “Lines & Circles”. The first single off of the new record is “Skydive”, a fantastic mid tempo ballad that you can watch here. The current group is Jacob Underwood – Vox/Guitar, Trevor Penick – Vox, Erik-Michael Estrada – Vox and Dan Miller – Vox. The group once had five members, Ashley Parker Angel the fifth member did not want to partake in the reunion. But hey, that’s okay because from what I saw and heard, the quartet will do just fine without him! Never have I seen them live before, I was expecting the worst. I’ve covered or seen pretty much every musical group except “The Beatles”, “The Jackson Five”, “New Edition” and a few more because I was not born yet or old enough to migrate! Bypassing the fans waiting in line at Lee’s, I ran straight into the venue thinking I was late! It was five-thirtyish, the bands publicist told me my interview time was at 5pm. Turns out the band wasn’t there yet, I breathed easier, so glad that I made it on time.O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

Another media outlet was setting up their lighting across the room as I began unloading my gear. In the venue maybe five minutes before a guy walked over and introduced himself, his face looked familiar and the name Jacob rang a bell. One-fourth of the quartet and the business man of the band, which I later learned in my five second interview. Soon after the other interview began a blogger arrived to interview the group, adding to the time crunch. That pushed my interview back until she finished hers because mine was to be filmed, I didn’t mind for the time being. My priority was finding a plug to charge dead camera battery that was fully charged but somehow now dying…It was more than obvious that the Universe was being moody, something else was going to fuck up for sure.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE - FRIDAE TV INTERVIEW MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 photo by: Fridae Mattas

When it was finally my turn, we were getting acquainted as I set up my tripod. Was being rushed to the point where I almost didn’t get the mic into their hands, nevermind check the audio levels! The guys were friendly and helpful, making suggestions on where I’d like them to be placed for the interview. After introductions I opened with “You guys are back! Why now?” Underwood answered with “Well, it was the right time for us, it has been difficult to get together in the past, with me living in Nashville and Dan being a father and all of our other projects. Now is the right time.” I can recall telling them their 2014 debut single “Skydive” was a good tune and asked if they were more hands on with this record? After thanking me for the compliment, they answered back with “yes” and a more in depth perspective that was lost amongst the static in the recording because my lip reading skills are not the greatest.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Fridae Mattas

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaWhen I asked if they would do a reality show again, Dan was the most responsive, rapidly shaking his head “No”! We chatted about the difference of their first tour and this tour, at some point they were jibbering about visiting Niagara Falls (The big one is called Horseshoe Falls) before migrating to Toronto. Assuming it was their first time, judging by their excitement it sure sounded like it was. Niagara Falls Canada is the honeymoon capital of the world for a reason! The best time to see the falls is at night when they have the lights on, it looks too cool. Plus its fun to hit up a haunted house attraction and party there sometimes, on the Canadian side that is! Buffalo is ass! No offense Buffalo, I’m sure everyone notices how much it sucks compared to Canada’s Niagara and Toronto but, we are nothing compared to Manhattan. Oh yeah before I forget, single ladies…You are in luck! Three of the four are ready to mingle, as Jacob stated while he did the “call me” gesture on camera. They also chatted about their status during the show, playing the dating game theme song for shits and giggles.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaIt’s good to see them being responsible for their own careers. Underwood is basically the manager, handling most of the business, booking the gigs and apparently this is only the beginning, in 2015 we will be seeing a lot of O-Town!  There you have it Townies, they will be heading back on tour, hitting a city near you in the future! Literally in four minutes that is all I was able to get. Not the interview I had envisioned…But tour manager Chris (I think that was his name) looked like he was going to have a nervous breakdown when he told me to wrap it up… I blame my tech issues on that half hour interview because they fucked up the whole rotation! So annoyed, I went straight to my generic wrap, pretty sure the band read the annoyance of being cut-off on my face. Now multiply that by seven and add a livid LeTawniyah on level ten. That’s how pissed off I was when I played back the interview to no sound, just static…Couldn’t even finish eating my poutine. Clearly, the Universe was not happy with the brief little snippet. And, after spending the last week trying to resurrect the audio from Monday’s interview, I finally gave up. 

TODD CAREY LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE - PHOTO BY: FRIDAE MATTAS

The opening act was “Todd Carey” American singer whose single “Nintendo” hit number one on the Billboard twitter charts. During one of the cover tunes, O-Town’s Jacob Underwood joined the stage to jam with Todd Carey and you can see how it all went down here. My ears were done after that, I had to find my ear plugs now! The sold out mostly female crowd was competing for the loudest scream, like Animals with the loudest mating call in the wild. Thankfully I was finally armed with ear plugs, they were my saving grace because that was only the beginning…Carey was good, a little too broadway and disingenuous for me but has potential, the fans were enjoying themselves. When Todd played his number one billboard twitter tune, my ears did not like that “Nintendo” song. The fans were screaming stuff like “Oh My Gawd, he’s soo cute” but not “I love this song” or any vulgar obscenities, that I heard anyway!  

TODD CAREY FT. JACOB UNDERWOOD LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaTODD CAREY LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaTODD CAREY FT. JACOB UNDERWOOD LIVE @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaAbout twenty or so minutes after doors opened we heard a commotion near the parking lot around the corner. Photographer “D” made a sarcastic comment about how the group probably popped up to check the fans. His words rang true, the quartet ran to the front entrance along the crowd causing “Bandimonium” because most of the fans were still waiting to be let into the venue. It was pretty amusing to those of us watching this madness unfold. Apparently an older woman looked absolutely disgusted as she passed by. I was laughing, this was hilarious and obvious they still have an effect on Canadian females.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaThe set up was pretty basic, a computer played the instrumentals as the group kicked off their sold out set with the song that started it all, “Liquid Dreams”. At first I could not hear them over the shrill screams of five hundred or so grown ass women with a few boyfriends in tow and a couple of gays sprinkled in the mix. To be exact, two Queen’s dancing the night away in the middle of the venue like nobody was watching. Both myself and photog D, refused to even attempt shooting anywhere near the front of the stage. D was stage left, closer to the pit area and I just chilled on the steps by the sound booth, stage right. Was hoping to get decent footage without too many heads and hands…But of course the struggle was real, Andre the Giant’s daughter decided to wear stilettos and a messy bun to this concert…You can see her head bobbing all over my footage and she was standing below me…My weakness is filming in crowds without media pits! Wish I wore heels to make my 5’8 stature at least 5’11 or 6 feet and if only I could find a good spot to set up my tripod! Nowhere in the chaos was that possible. 

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema

They sang a mix of their new and old track’s, sounding absolutely tight without needing any live auto-tune! The performance shocked me actually, because my ears were liking all of their voices and that is rare when it comes to vocal groups. The only ones able to accomplish that thus far were “Boyz II Men” who are impeccable live, watch them for yourself on FridaeTV Youtube.  As for The Backstreet Boys; my ears don’t really like Howie D’s vocals, N’Sync; JC’s vocals were the strongest, did not like the rest especially Chris’s tone. Occasionally Justin’s vocals were tolerable, the nasal whine in his falsetto still bothers my ears to this day. New Kids weren’t really known as a vocal group and 98 Degrees doesn’t even make the list! My ears don’t like any of their voices and they are so boring on stage. Saw them live when I was a youngin, it was the first time I was attacked by fans, all because one of the Larries handed me a rose. Never went to another 98 Degrees show or saw the rose again because the teenies yanked it out of my hand. 

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaRight out the gate, O-Town could have done anything and sounded like shit, yet the fans still would have eaten it up. A great example was when Jacob decided to try something new where he threw and caught his mic during the hit tune “All Or Nothing”. My reaction to the little trick was similar to Trevor and Dan’s but the fans loved every second! You can watch that big tune unfold here. At least he tried it and in the end it worked out for him.

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaO-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan CheemaToronto embraced O-Town with open arms, except for this douche behind me who kept DAN MILLER: O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheemayelling “You suck, you fucking suck!” during an acoustic performance of a song they’ve never done live before. It was a little rough as expected for a first attempt, it was a lot better than many “Rock Bands” have done on the fly. That man was aggravating LeTawniyah, lucky for him he disappeared before she was unleashed. The crowd was entertained without the JACOB UNDERWOOD: O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheemabells and whistles of a huge production. O-Town’s talent and personalities we’re more than enough for the fans in Toronto. Next time, hit up the Phoenix where there is ample room for more fans and stage tricks ha ha.

My ears did not mind a few of the newer tunes like “Lines & Circles” and “Rewind”. Those songs stood out after briefly listening to the latest record and hearing them live. O-Town has been trying to gain respect in the industry, working hard to find a place in the world of today’s music as legit musicians. Is it possible for them to gain momentum in an era where everything is over processed and manufactured? I believe these indie underdogs of pop could slowly climb to the top! Ashley who? Keep practicing, writing and always remember what Drake says; “Started from the bottom now the whole team fucking here!” O-Town is Fridae approved, if you get the chance, go see their brand of non-autotuned musical infusions. Muchas gracias to D for assisting me in shooting the set, publicist Matt for all his help. And of course thanks to O-Town for taking a few minutes to chat, it was great to meet you guys! Reach out and I’ll see ya’ll in 2015, we need a new interview! Enjoy the holidays everyone and don’t forget to grab your copy of O-Town’s newest album “Lines & Circles” here in the US and here in Canada. 

www.OTOWNOFFICIAL.com

 COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

O-TOWN @ LEE'S PALACE MONDAY DEC. 8TH 2014 Photo By: Dipan Cheema
Photo By: Dipan Cheema

LACUNA COIL WITH INCURA AND STARSET – LIVE IN TORONTO FEATURE EDITORIAL

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LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014
Photo By: Fridae Mattas

LACUNA COIL

WITH INCURA AND STARSET

LIVE IN TORONTO 2014

FEATURE EDITORIAL

 

 

Written By: Fridae Mattas

Photography By: Fridae Mattas

Additional Photo Credits: Joanna Glezakos

 STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

Words are flowing with ease because now I can breathe and actually focus on writing this editorial. The photos I shot were lost and I was trying to recover them somehow, finally mission is accomplished and they’re all edited. I was very happy that long time FridaeTV photographer Joanna made it to shoot a bit of the last two sets. There was to be four bands on the bill but apparently “Devil You Know” had some car troubles and did not make it to Toronto for the set. Was looking forward to seeing them perform but shit happens! Before we get into the meaty part of the editorial I must say if you don’t know who Lacuna Coil is I suggest you listen to a few tunes and then come back to read the rest of this review.

CROWD @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014INCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

The first band on stage at The Opera House was Incura originally from Alberta and now transplanted to Vancouver. The band was support for the Canadian leg of the tour and I was so glad I made it to catch their set! Last time I saw Incura rock out was at Canadian Music week…I think? Who knows I could be lying, it’s been a while! Regardless, I don’t get tired of watching them play their hearts out on stage. I wish the Opera House would add some front lighting and not just backlighting always drowning out the performers.INCTINCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

It’s always a challenge to shoot at that venue but at least there was a barricade and mini pit to shoot from, very rare for the Opera House. Kyle Gruninger is the epitome of what a lead vocalist is, he actually sings the bands original material without all the bells and whistles and performs each track like it’s the last song he will sing…One day, they will be rocking arenas! They had an extended set due to the transportation issues of “Devil You Know” leaving a gap in the line up. The crowd didn’t seem to mind at all, I recognized quite a few tunes “Get The Gun”, “Who You Are”, “Greatest Con” and a few more. The other members in the band are: Phil Gardner – Drums, Jim McLaren – Keys, Jono Olson – Bass and Gatlin Fitzgerald – Lead Guitar. The band was extremely entertaining, every set is better than the last but some improvements still need to be made. McLaren on the Keys needs to be a little more vibrant, he looked bored some of the time and not that into the tunes. I cannot wait to see the next phase of progress for Incura.

INCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE SEPT 28TH 2014 TORONTO - Photo By: Fridae MattasINCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

Up next was a fresh band for me, Starset from Columbus, Ohio. I was the only one shooting the first two bands and didn’t know what to think when the band emerged on stage with lit space helmets on their head and rocking in black tights. The only one not in costume was lead vox Dustin Bates, the rest of the band Ron DeChant, Adam Gilbert and Brock Richards were glowing.

STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014Starset were very fun to shoot and easy on the ears, I was really liking their tunes especially the catchy single “My Demons” from their debut record “Transmissions”. I will definitely need to check out the full record. The only thing I can think of that this band needs to fix is visual, they had this giant screen with the bands logo on it beside the keyboard. It did look cool for a minute but then got in the way, you could barely see the drummer or the vocalist when he was standing behind it. The music was good, a little much on the electrification of the vocals but I thoroughly enjoyed this band and will hit up another set if they reach Toronto again. 

STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014STARSET LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014 By: Fridae Mattas

Continuing the trend of not dragging this on let’s chat about the headliners, before there was Evanescence, Lacuna Coil brought the goth metal melodies and vocals back in the early nineties. The one and only Italian GodFathers of Goth Rock Lacuna Coil has had some mild success, I’ve heard the bands music for a long time and when I found out they were hitting Toronto, had to cover them! There are many bands out there that deserve much more success and exposure than the current crop of shitterific mainstream entertainment. All of the bands on this Broken Crown Halo tour are part of group “A” the fantastic bands that should be heard. 

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

Over the years Lacuna Coil has gained quite a loyal fanbase and not just in Europe, these talented Italianos from Milano have made a name for themselves across the globe. The band is: Cristina Scabbia – Vocals, Andrea Ferro – Vocals, Marco Coti Zelati – Bass, Marco ‘Maus’ Biazzi – Guitars and Ryan Blake Folden on the Drums . 

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY: JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAE TV

Lacuna Coil had a few cool looking crowns decorating the stage and once they migrated out they we’re greeted with cheers as they kicked off their well blended fifteen track set with big tune Trip The Darkness off of Dark Adrenaline. That tune was soon followed by Spellbound from Shallow Life. Vocals by Andrea Ferro were almost flawless, he gave the people what they wanted…A Performance! I noticed some technical issues with the microphones but Ferro embraced it like a champ. Cristina’s vocals were strong, she sang her heart out and the fans couldn’t get enough, especially when they played Depeche Mode cover “Enjoy The Silence” to end the set. I liked Lacuna Coil’s rendition of the song much better than the original. Maus Biazzi on the axe was beyond incredible those licks were spectacular to hear! The beat was tight thanks to stellar stick handler Ryan Blake Folden and Zelati’s Bass lines were on point.

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAETVLACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAETV

After I shot some photos I was watching the set from behind the soundbooth, the best view in the house! They had some fabulous lighting, still backlit but you must always work with what you have. It was fun to see the bands lighting tech enjoying the show as much as the fans, never seen a crew member so into the music. Rhythmically, he was in sync with every beat the band played and it translated on stage, now that’s passion! I loved watching and hearing the songs I’ve heard on the albums come to life.

LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014LACUNA COIL LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE 2014 - PHOTO BY JOANNA GLEZAKOS FOR FRIDAETV

The encore’s were a mix of old and new, first was Nothing Stands In Our Way from the current release Broken Crown Halo and the last tune the band played before lights out was Our Truth off of their album Karmacode. Huge thank you to Jon who linked it up and Lacuna Coil for having me! I enjoyed myself and will be seeing all of these bands again at some point in the future. 5 music notes out of 5 ♪♪♪♪♪ for each band, Lacuna Coil, Starset and Incura are all worth your time and support! 

INCURA LIVE @ THE OPERA HOUSE MONDAY SEPT 28TH 2014

 COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

RYAN LONG, TORONTO’S PETER PAN?

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RYAN LONG - THURSDAY JULY 10TH 2014 TORONTO Photo By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

IS RYAN LONG TORONTO’S “PETER PAN”?

A FRIDAE TV INTERVIEW

 

By: Fridae Mattas

RYAN LONG - THURSDAY JULY 10TH 2014 TORONTO Photo By: Fridae Mat

Last week I caught up with Ryan Long before his stand up charity gig at Tallboys. Initially the interview was to be shot at a different location but I was late, so too bad for me. I agreed to cover Long’s work because he does mostly everything himself and I respect that, I’m the same way. Thank the Lord he was a character because I really don’t like boring interviewees. The standup set was fairly short but he made the whole room giggle with glee. A few more joke refinements and he will be funnier than Tom Green! 

My comical knowledge goes way back to when my Dad introduced me to the world of comedy with Greek comedian Stathis Psaltis, followed by American comedians Andrew Dice Clay and Eddie Murphy. Recently at Yuk Yuk’s I was heckled by Canadian comic Tom Green and that was the funniest part of his set. He really doesn’t have jokes, I think it’s because he’s been around so long people just assume he’s hilarious. He’s funnier when heckling people. “Daddy would you like some sausage”?

Long is mostly known as the curly haired Vox drummer of his band “The Johnstones“. He is a prime example of not judging a book by its cover, this comical music Larry is running the show…In his latest creation “Ryan Long Is Challenged”, Long is the only contestant to complete random tasks for a prize, you can catch it on BiteTV Sundays at midnight.

RYAN LONG - TALLBOYS CRAFT - THURSDAY JULY 10TH 2014 TORONTO PhoAfter interviewing, watching his stand-up set, two episodes of “Ryan Long Is Challenged” at the screening and the one I missed, I can honestly say Long is a funny guy. But, if you’re going to be “Toronto Peter Pan” you need to create a costume…Hope you’ve taken care of that hernia! Long’s TV shows, comedy sets and jams with his band are definitely worth your time! As I was editing the interview below to perfection, I purposely re-added the errors I fixed because I’m trying not to be perfect all the time ha ha! Hope you all enjoy a few clips from the set and the herniation of “Toronto Peter Pan”.

 www.RYANLONGONLINE.com

www.RYANLONGISCHALLENGED.com

COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

FRIDAE TV’S Q&A WITH – SHAUN COOPER OF TAKING BACK SUNDAY!

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Photo Credit: Michael Dubin

Q&A

WITH

SHAUN COOPER

OF 

TAKING  BACK SUNDAY!

By: Fridae Mattas

Americano band Taking Back Sunday just dropped a new record March 18th called “Happiness Is”, you can grab yours here America and Canada you can download here! Why not a little Q&A with the band? Bassist Shaun Cooper took one for the team and answered a few of my questions…

 

FRIDAE: Your Sixth studio album was released March 18th, for everyones ears to hear, how excited are you?

SHAUN: I am so excited that tears of joy are streaming down my face as I type this!

FRIDAE: HaHa…When birthing the record, what journeys were taken? How was it conceived?

SHAUN: We actually conceived and birthed four children during the writing and recording of this record, so that was really something. We were just trying to write the best songs we are capable of.

FRIDAE: What can people expect on “Happiness Is”? Does it follow the same format as its predecessors or is it a completely different formulation of sounds?

SHAUN: I don’t know that any of our records followed a specific formula. Happiness Is is diverse and raw and probably the most interesting sounding album Taking Back Sunday has released. 

 

FRIDAE: Over the years there have been many changes with the band, what obstacle was the hardest to overcome?

SHAUN: Some people like to think of us as solely a nostalgia act. I think Happiness Is will shatter that notion. It’s very rare that any band has their best release 6 albums in. In my opinion we did just that.

FRIDAE: I remember how crazy the crowd was last year at Warped tour when you guys tore up the stage. What was the craziest show you can recall?

SHAUN: We played an amazing sold out show in Singapore a few weeks ago. The crowd was amazing. It seemed like everyone in attendance knew every word to every song we played that night.

FRIDAE: Are there any artists out there today you would like to collaborate with?

SHAUN: What is Sisqo up to these days? I thought The Thong Song was rad.

(LOL)

FRIDAE: Who came up with the idea of a Co-Tour with The Used?

SHAUN: I don’t know who initially had the idea. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time though so I’m glad it finally worked out.

FRIDAE: Any plans to add anymore tour dates this year in Canada?

SHAUN: I don’t know yet but we would love to.

FRIDAE: What are your top five favorite albums of all time?

SHAUN: Guns ‘n Roses Appetite For Destruction, The Beatles Abbey Road, Nirvana Nevermind, Rancid …And Out Come The Wolves, Radiohead The Bends.

FRIDAE: For all of the new bands out there, what piece of wisdom would you like to share?

SHAUN: Persistence pays!

FRIDAE: The horror fan in me needs to know…Have any of you been to the Amityville house?

SHAUN: When Eddie (Guitarist) was a kid he used to give tours of the place to tourists, he’d charge them $5 apiece. He saved that money to buy his first guitar.

FRIDAE: That story is fantastic! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my random questions, epecially the Amityville one! Looking forward to seeing you all rock the stage again at the sold out Kool Haus show with The Used in Toronto April 8th!

COPYRIGHT © 2014 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

 

TAKING BACK SUNDAY IS:

Adam Lazzara – Lead Vocals

Eddie Reyes – Rhythm Guitar

Shaun Cooper – Bass

John Nolan – Lead Guitar, Vocals, Keys

MarkO’Connell – Drums, Percussion

 

AMARANTHE LIVE IN TORONTO 2013 – FEATURE EDITORIAL REVIEW

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

AMARANTHE

LIVE IN TORONTO 2013

EDITORIAL REVIEW

By: Fridae Mattas

The first time I heard Swedish/Danish band Amaranthe my ears immediately took a liking to the poppy melodic male and female vocals mixed with serious growls and sick guitars. It was everything my ears could ask for in a band and since then I have kept an eye out for press releases from their publicist. These days my time is beyond limited but my memory is pretty amazing, I kept them in mind as a band I needed to see live if they were to ever hit Toronto.  When I saw they were to play the Virgin Mobile Mod Club July 20th not only did I want to review the set I also wanted to do an interview but did not have any free time to even attempt to make that happen. Thanks to the fabulous folks at Live Nation, shooting the almost twenty track set was breezy.

AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013ELIZE RYD - VOX AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013My favorite part of Music Journalism is seeing new bands live who have some pretty fantastic tunes. High five to me for making it on time to see Amaranthe rock the Mod Club, thought I was going to arrive mid set. I reached just in time but missed the openers Kobra And The Lotus which was mucho disappointing! I was looking forward to shooting and seeing their set, but I guess you can’t have everything you want all the time.

AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013Amaranthe formerly known as “Avalanche” was formulated in 2008  by Jake E – clean vocals and Olof Mörck – Guitars and Keys. There are a total of six members in the band one of which is a female Elize Ryd – Vocals, she has a pretty voice, soft and fluid. Next there’s growls and fry screams by Andreas Solveström – Hard vocals, Morten Løwe Sørensen rocking the Drums and Johan Andreassen on the Bass. Amaranthe has two records, the first is their self titled debut and the recent LP “The Nexus” was released in March.

MORTEN LOWE SORENSEN - DRUMS AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013JAKE E - VOX AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013They kicked off their set with a new tune  “Invincible” from their latest album, the crowd went crazy once they migrated on stage. There were no barricades meaning no media pit or security and that was okay with me because no way in hell was I going to put myself in the line of fire! I had my various lenses but they are not magical. The crowd was wild but they are a “Metal” band they should be used to the crowd surfers. Jake E seemed annoyed for most of the set but there were a few normal moments. By the time they played “The Nexus” even Vox – Elize was over the stage crashers so she would take them by the hand and guide them back towards the crowd. Next time the band comes to Toronto they definitely need a pit or a higher stage. There were many people but it was not sold out, the crowd was divided themselves into three halves, front section, middle moshers and the back section trying not to get whacked by a mosher.

AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013There are a few songs I really dig like “Amaranthine”, “Afterlife” and “!,000,000 Lightyears” a few other tunes sounded the same, I couldn’t tell them apart. Vocals were pretty good but Jake E was super pitchy during a few tunes but nonetheless my ears still like the sound of his voice it reminds me of old school hair metal bands, The only female in the Elize Ryd has a sugary sweet voice but needs to work on her breathing to hold the notes a bit longer, it’s not like she’s dancing. During the tune “Burn With Me” the harmonies sounded a little flat but they did a decent job regardless. Andreas Solveström’s growls were fantastic, you could understand every word clearly, superb diction is rare for those who fry scream but he has them on lock.

OLOF MORCK - GUITAR AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013JOHAN ANDREASSEN - BASS - AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013

The performance was enjoyable, certain things seemed a tad rehearsed but one thing that did not seem rehearsed was Bassist Johan giving Drummer Morten a little birthday introduction asking the crowd to sing him the birthday song and they did. orten also had a killer drum solo in the set where he smashed those cans with ease. They had a few wardrobe changes and threw in a cover of Survior’s “Eye Of the Tiger”. More fans kept going on stage, one even asked for Jake to look at her friends camera and pose for a photo with her before she rejoined the crowd. It must have been irritating to have the performance interrupted so many times so I don’t blame them at all.

ELIZE RYD - VOX AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013JAKE E - VOX AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013

Next time Amaranthe hits the City I will definitely be setting up an interview and checking out their set because they did well enough for a revisitation. If you like melodic metal pop fusions then Amaranthe is for you, worth checking out. www.Amaranthe.se www.livenation.com

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

AMARANTHE LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUB 2013

PATRIZIA’S PHANTOM OF THE ROCK OPERA – FEATURE PHOTO EDITORIAL

All Photogaphy By: Dipan CheemaPATRIZIA’S

PHANTOM OF THE ROCK OPERA

FEATURE PHOTO EDITORIAL

All Photography By: Dipan Cheema

All Photography By: Dipan Cheema For Fridae TV

PATRIZIA LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUBPATRIZIA DANCER LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUBPATRIZIA LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUBPATRIZIA DANCER & BAND LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUBPATRIZIA BAND LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUBPATRIZIA DANCER LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUBPATRIZIA LIVE @ THE VIRGIN MOBILE MOD CLUBCOPYRIGHT © 2013 DIPAN CHEEMA FOR FRIDAE TV. All Rights Reserved

www.PATRIZIAMUSIC.com

ANIME NORTH 2013 – FEATURE EDITORIAL

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

ANIME NORTH 2013

FEATURE EDITORIAL

By:  Fridae Mattas

ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013There is a first for everything, this year for me it was covering Anime North a fan run Animation convention that showcases various animation formats, video games, music and Japanese culture. I don’t know anything about Anime or Manga, all I know is Sailor Moon is a Japanese cartoon and I was obsessed with that cartoon along with Wonder Woman, She-Ra, Jem, Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake when I was a kid.

ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013Once I arrived at the hotel to grab the media passes there were hundreds of caricatures everywhere! Took me at least twenty minutes just to get through the doors, it was rammed. Anime North convention goers were dressed up in Anime characters , I saw almost every cartoon or superhero in existence, some even had original costumes.

ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013The first thing I noticed about the people at this convention was how accepting and chill everyone was. Absolutely no judgements as they gather dressed up as their favorite character to converse about Anime, buy some cool stuff, learn more about Anime, listen to some Japanese bands and have an overall good time. I did not realize how many things there were to see and do during this three day event, too bad I could only make it to cover some of the festivities on Saturday May 25th.

ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013

  

 

ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013

Due to my limited Anime knowledge  I enlisted my little hombre Marc an Anime North Veteran and avid Anime fan to give us all a break down on Anime North. You can see some of the adventurings in the video below along with commentary from Marc.

I really enjoyed all of the costumes and the whole vibe of the event, I saw so many Sailor Scouts mostly Sailor Moon but no Sailor Mars, what’s with that!? Definitely looking forward to next year so I can explore more of what Anime North has to offer and maybe even get into character myself. Thank you so much to the Anime North media folks, the people who vogued for me and the Fridae TV team! I hope everyone enjoys the photos and video, until next year! Keep on fighting evil by moonlight!

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013

ANIME NORTH TORONTO 2013

THE OTHER HALF – CMF 2013 PT. 2 FEATURING: INCURA & SIX SIDE DIE

Photo By: Fridae Mattas
Photo By: Fridae Mattas

THE OTHER HALF – CMF 2013 PT. 2

FEATURING

INCURA & SIX SIDE DIE

By: Fridae Mattas

Canadian Music Week continued! If you have yet to read the other parts of the Canadian Music Fest coverage you can view them here and here.

This year I wanted everything to be different, told myself not to stress over anything…Yeah, now I am stressing over stupid technolgy not working as it should!  I tried Final Cut Pro on my friends computer a few weeks ago…I wanted to shoot myself in the face, don’t understand why Apple makes the simplest things so time consuming and complicated! After listening to more than half of the bands playing the festival, I concluded that there was nothing new appealing to my ears. Most of the good bands on the Toronto scene I already love, know about, have heard of or don’t like. There were a few Australian and Japanese bands I saw for a few minutes but they were just mediocre.

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

On March 21st I had a few bands to check but it turned out one of the bands was not even playing, regardless of what the book said. I thought why not just hit up a few clubs on Queen and then reach Incura’s set at the Hard Luck. Absolutely thrilled that I was able to catch their set and I arrived early!! The first time I saw Vancouver band Incura was at the Rivoli in 2009, they were so fantastic I had to check them out again but kept missing the sets in the city. This time I was determined, I even agreed to an interview with dynamo frontman Kyle Gruninger when the bands publicist reached out. To watch the interview click here or go to www.youtube.com/fridaetv.

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

Incura is:  Kyle Gruninger – Vocals, Royce Whittaker – Guitar,  Jono Olson – Bass, Jim McLaren – Keyboards and Phil Gardner on the kit. You cannot describe their music by genre-boxing them. They have such a fantastically different blend of artistic sounds and if anyone tries to change them that will be a sad day.Kyle is one of the best frontmen I have seen ever! His vocals and stage presence surpass many of the veteran artists out there today, if Freddie Mercury and David Bowie had a son it would be Kyle. You can see him shine by watching the band live or viewing a video on Fridae TV youtube.

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

The rest of the band did well, Whittaker was immense on the axe but there were a few tuning issues that I heard, but this time I will let it slide because they played four shows back to back in three days. When I notice mistakes at least I know he is actually playing the guitar and not “Rock Banding it” with a backing track pretending to play the instrument. (I have seen that happen far too often these days!). Phil Gardner on the Drums was tight the whole time! Most Drummers I have seen and know are always on top of their game. Bassist Jono Olson kept those Bass lines crisp , he was very energetic and not overly enthusiastic.  They all have chemistry beyond words that you have to see for yourself, keep Incura in your thought because soon enough they will have a huge following!

Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV
Photo By: Dipan Cheema for Fridae TV

On Friday March 22nd an interview was scheduled with James Black of Finger Eleven who also has his own solo project and an Alt-Country band “Blackie Jackett Jr.” with fellow guitarist Rick Jackett. You can watch the very informative interview here. Once his set wrapped I was to run down to The Indies but instead I ran into an awesome friend as I was leaving the Rivoli and decided to check the Protest The Hero set at The Hoxton which I have never been too. I did feel a little guilty for fucking up the coverage rotation but I really wanted to see PTH kill it! Fridae TV photographer Dipan was already at The Kool Haus shooting the show, so my guilt wasn’t too overwhelming. The Hoxton looked nice, the sound system was shit up close but farther back it sounded decent, invest in your sound system people. Did not stay too long because it was getting crazy and I didn’t want to miss Matt Mays and El Torpedo I take it and go.

PROTEST THE HERO LIVE @ THE HOXTON CMF 2013

The Indies were held at the Kool Haus this year due to the relocation because of the construction on front street by Union station and the usual CMW HQ Royal York. Next year they should have CMW/CMF at the Sheraton Centre, after all it is a spacious hotel and centrally located. The band playing when I arrived was Diamond Rings…The bands music was good but the singer was horrible, he ruined everything, my ears were screaming! Thankfully, the set was almost over and Matt Mays was hitting the stage next. It is beyond tragic that band member Jay Smith of El Torpedo was died not even a week later. Smith was found dead Wednesday March 27th in his Alberta hotel room, cause of death is yet to be released. He was a strong influence on the band and a very talented musician who left behind a young family. My condolences to all of his family and friends, it is always hard to lose people so suddenly. When people say time will heal, I don’t agree with that saying when it comes to the death of someone close. You never really get over it, you just learn how to cope and live your life. 

JAY SMITH - GUITAR - MATT MAYS & EL TORPEDO LIVE @ THE 2013 SIRIUS XM INDIES CMW

The band was fantastic they were all so cohesive and I loved the guitars, always a sucker for the sound of a guitar played well. I don’t know why but the more guitars squealing the better for my ears! Mays has a soulful mellow voice and is a fabulous frontman with great stage presence. The crowd was hypnotized by his every move, see for yourself and watch “Loveless” and “Stoned” the two best tracks I filmed of their performance at The Indies.

MATT MAYS LIVE @ THE 2013 SIRIUS XM INDIES CMW

This year CMW had over a thousand bands playing but not enough quality entertainment that I wanted to hear. Always remember it is about quality, not quantity. The headliners for The 2013 Indie Awards were Metric, the crowd was waiting patiently for the first twenty minutes and then they began to get restless because the band was still not on the stage after an hour.

METRIC LIVE @ THE 2013 SIRIUS XM INDIES CMW CMF

METRIC LIVE @ THE 2013 SIRIUS XM INDIES CMW CMF

The crowd forgot about the delay the minute vox Emily Haines walked onto the stage. Metric started off their set with Artificial Nocturne, followed by Youth Without You which I absolutely think sounds like “Come As You Are” by Nirvana. There were moments when it seemed as though Haines wasn’t singing, photographer Dipan even notice that, maybe everyone should lay off the vocal effects and sing normally. They were okay, I don’t get the hype but Haines does put on a respectable performance.

METRIC LIVE @ THE 2013 SIRIUS XM INDIES CMW CMF

Next!! Six Side Die at Cherry Colas!! Prior to their set I was on a mission to find a good band! So I trekked up and down Queen street in search of new quality entertainment. Most of the good bands I have already seen and like the days before the bands playing were not mesmerizing enough to keep me. I did a new interview with Six Side Die but it is still being edited, like Kyle’s it was to be right here for you all to see but I don’t always get what I want.

SIX SIDE DIE LIVE @ CHERRY COLAS CMF 2013

ANTHONY - GUITAR - SIX SIDE DIE LIVE @ CHERRY COLAS CMF 2013

Six Side Die is in the process of recording their debut record “That F’N Album” which should be out this summer for everyone to listen to. SSD’s fans raised enough funds for the band to make the record possible. Many people know frontman Bryan Crouch from his previous band “Hail The Villain” and I have noticed by the comments left on a few FridaeTV videos some of his Villain fans are not happy with the migration. People don’t understand how harsh hard rock vocals are on your chords, all of the screaming and growling damages the vocal chords causing them to deteriorate because of continual misuse. There are so many metal and hard rock bands that have had to hold off on tours because the vocalist needed some voice rest or had to get legit surgery to try and repair some of the affliction. Honestly people need to get over it and move the fuck on, he is a talented guy who wants to continue evolving as an artist on his own terms. If you don’t love it anymore, you have to let it go to truly find what you are missing because in the end the only one watching out for you is you.

BRYAN CROUCH - VOX - SIX SIDE DIE LIVE @ CHERRY COLAS CMF 2013

KELLY - DRUMS - SIX SIDE DIE LIVE @ CHERRY COLAS CMF 2013

They rocked Cherry Cola’s “Tiny Tim” stage to the fullest of their ability, it was so hard to get photos of everyone because there are five Larries on a tiny stage at once overlapping one another. Six Side Die is: Bryan Crouch – Vocals, Anthony Xander – Lead Axe, Kelly Voelkel- Drums, Mike Liske – Rhythm Guitar/Vox and Pat Kavanagh- Bass/Vocals.

PAT - BASS/BACKUPVOX - SIX SIDE DIE LIVE @ CHERRY COLAS CMF 2013

MIKE -  RHYTHM GUITAR- SIX SIDE DIE LIVE @ CHERRY COLAS CMF 2013

I love Pat’s has screamage skills he sounds fantastic and plays bass pretty well keeping the moment up. Mike on the rhythm needs to relax a little bit, have fun on stage! The hardest was getting shots of Kelly he was always blocked by a Larry but shit I managed one still. Loving their sound, very eclectic and Bryan still kills it as a frontman, he brings the vibrancy needed to make this new venture a successful endeavour. It’s amazing how the band interacts with their fans on the regular either by doing random fb or twitter updates or playing video-games with them. Xander is great guitarist, he tried to do some tricks with a bottle…Didn’t exactly work but at least he tried something different. People are too afraid of risks and change but if you don’t take a chance on something you are not living. Check out all of the above bands and artists as well as the others mentioned in the previous CMW editorials and keep it locked for those interviews, that’s all for this year!

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

SIX SIDE DIE LIVE @ CHERRY COLAS CMF 2013

Q & A WITH DOLLS!

1ssulk_new_high_res

Q&A WITH DOLLS

 

By: Fridae Mattas

 

Amidst the whirlwind of press for her new album “Secret Sulk”, Nikki of Dolls (You may know her as Nikki Awesome.) had a few minutes to catch up and share some of her life.

 

Fridae: Hello, Hello! It has been awhile since we hijacked a ballroom, how are you?

DOLLS – Nikki: OMG I almost forgot about ballroom-hijacking. I mean, nowadays they just give themselves up. It’s been a while!

 

Fridae: What has been going on in Awesome land since we last chatted a few years back?

DOLLS – Nikki:  So much.  I’ve pretty much left the ‘Nikki Awesome’ thing behind (DOLLS website launching soon, but won’t change my Facebook fan page), relocated to the UK (three grey and glorious years this summer), learned how to produce my own music, have thrown myself about traveling, meet/greeting some of my favourite artists and making ridiculous videos.  Basically, I’ve spent the last three years regaining control of my art and having FUN again after leaving the major label game, which has definitely been a good move.

 

Fridae: How was Dolls created? If you could tell the world and myself a little more background information on the history of Dolls.

DOLLS – Nikki:  DOLLS was initially an outlet for me to create music with a darker overall sound which wasn’t really compatible with The Royal Society’s.  I always listened to synth-heavy music with a dirty, raw vibe, like Nine Inch Nails, Gary Numan, Depeche Mode, and Joy Division/New Order.  I also really love some of the pop artists of the 80’s like Tears for Fears, Pet Shop Boys and Men Without Hats, all acts that had depth in their lyricism as well as wicked synth lines.  I found that many mainstream artists were not into that style when I was last living in North America. There weren’t many artists making a crossover between ‘alternative’ and ‘synthpop,’ coming from a commercial pop background (though some were crossing over the other way).  I’ve always written all my own lyrics and melodies, played guitar and keys, but I felt despite that, I was limited to one style of music by virtue of having had a hit in that genre and lacking the resources to produce music on my own.  Even though The Royal Society’s fans were wonderful and the media outlets were amazing in supporting the project, the club scene was feeling a little superficial to me.  After losing several years worth of work to a series of heavily political power plays (in case you ever wondered why there wasn’t a Royal Society album), I began learning production in order to make the music I wanted, so as not to have to take direction from people who didn’t get me as an artist.  It wasn’t the easiest transition and I probably burned some bridges, but ultimately I feel more empowered and happier doing what I want to do, and if people don’t ‘get it’ I don’t have to answer to anyone.

Fridae: Good for you! It’s seems like every artist comes to learn in their own time, that the only person who can truly relay your vision is you.

 

Fridae:  How did you come up with the new records title?

DOLLS – Nikki: It was little bit of a joke at my own expense. I felt like in writing the material for DOLLS, people saw me as being a bit of a ‘poor little bitch girl,’ biting the hand that had fed me. Because the songs were a lot more angry, less commercially friendly, and openly bitter about things that usually get hushed up. Dolls music is a total contrast to The Royal Society vibe which is all “let’s party, everything’s rad.”. I wrote so many songs over the last three years that chronicled some experiences pretty viciously, and it turned out that after incessant (often unsolicited) input from everyone else I was (un)surprisingly kind of pissed off.  Making Secret Sulk the album’s title seemed appropriate in the sense that everything I did musically and the way I did it was otherwise so atypical and ‘inappropriate’.

 

Fridae: Did you work with someone on the new album or did you create everything yourself?

DOLLS – Nikki: Millions of hours alone in my bedroom. I didn’t have any previous experience with production outside of being in-studio, so it’s been an insanely huge learning curve, which is obviously not yet complete.  The new (unreleased) stuff is a lot more refined in terms of sound quality (since I have upgraded my equipment) but it’s still DOLLS: dark cynical synth/wave with pop vocals.

1dolls_nice_high_resFridae: What separates Dolls from all the other artists trying to break the global scene?

DOLLS – Nikki: It’s no secret that the whole music industry is upside down.  Everybody’s looking to sign the prepackaged ‘next big thing,’ so I’d say it’s pretty rare to be invited in to hear the ‘flaws’ and outtakes from the onset, especially from someone who was formerly perceived as being the prepackaged ‘thing’ . DOLLS is the evolution of an artist, not the ‘delivery of a product.’  In my opinion, flaws are what resonate with people and give the audience something real to connect with.  The pitch-perfect image airbrushing that has become par for the course is not what I want to buy into or sell anymore.  Imperfections have always intrigued me; whether it was hearing a wrong note, a crack in the vocal performance – those kinds of things are so smoothed-out these days that I feel it’s tremendously different to allow fans in on a project’s development. Not just delivering a polished focus group-approved sound or image, which means releasing material that hasn’t been over-refined.  Which is unconventional in the current system.  I’ve chosen to work outside the model of recent tradition, and I will make mistakes, backtrack, change things around, have opinions that will piss people off. It’s more interesting (to me) to throw down total chaos rather than play a formulaic game, shuffling alongside everyone else, everyone crossing their fingers for a major to pick it up.  Getting signed doesn’t always benefit an artist, more often than not it just brings in a bunch of watered-down opinions on how you can best sell your music like it’s a breakfast cereal.

 

Fridae: Are you planning on hitting the road anytime soon?

DOLLS – Nikki: Definitely, but nothing’s set in stone yet.  I’ve had interest in the UK and Europe, but because I don’t have label support it’s a bigger deal to commit to touring, so I’m still working out the bugs and deciding who I want to work with for the live show.

 

Fridae: If you could work with any artist in the music world today who would you choose?

DOLLS – Nikki: Trent Reznor, David Bowie or David Lynch.  I feel like they should come as a package-deal, just so I don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings.

 

Fridae: Are there any other projects in the works?

DOLLS – Nikki: At the moment DOLLS is pretty all-consuming and there’s some deadly business waiting in the wings, but it’s all hush-hush, innit!  I’m just releasing my first collaboration with a Canadian artist since 2010 (On Your Lips with Toronto electro artist COINS), and have been talking with another UK indie artist (Magpies and Vagabonds) about a new concept project. He also did the Dustcover Mix of NOW NOW. Both tracks are on my Bandcamp and Soundcloud accounts for free download.

 

Fridae: Whose music are you playing on repeat right now that you could not possibly live without?

DOLLS – Nikki: I really like Miike Snow, Das Racist, HURTS and Paloma Faith.  I’m pretty shit at listening to new music, so I go through phases of not knowing about anything new and just snuggling into old faves, followed by frenzied accumulation of Spotify playlists.  I feel like not buying physical copies of albums combined with being so obsessive about learning production has changed the way I consume music; it’s like the line in Amadeus, about how sometimes there are just too many notes. When I (n)ever have spare time, I prefer to see plays, go to galleries, read.. Whatevs.

 

Fridae: Words of wisdom for aspiring artists….?

DOLLS – Nikki: Probably not to take anyone’s advice.  Nobody else knows how to develop your art better, and letting them try, almost invariably leaves you disappointed or risking relationships to maintain the integrity of your ideas.

 

Fridae: Where can people find your music?

DOLLS – Nikki:  DOLLS’ Secret Sulk is available for free on my Soundcloud account (http://soundcloud.com/dollsxx/sets/secret_sulk) and if people like it, it would be fantastic if they want to purchase it for whatever they think works; I’m asking for £5.00 on Bandcamp (http://dollsxx.bandcamp.com), which allows me to continue to make music and develop the project.

 

Fridae: Are there any last words you would like to share with the world?

DOLLS – Nikki:  “She probably had it coming.”

Fridae: LOL!! Thank you so much Mizz Nikki Dolls!

 

www.DOLLSXX.com

www.twitter.com/DOLLSXX

COPYRIGHT © 2013 FRIDAE MATTAS. All Rights Reserved

1DOLLSGANGSIGNS_HIRES_2

 

HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD & ABANDON ALL SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX – CMF 2013 PT.1 FEATURE EDITORIAL

All Photography By: Fridae Mattas
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

 FEATURE EDITORIAL

CANADIAN MUSIC FEST 2013 PART 1

HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD & ABANDON ALL SHIPS

 

 

By: Fridae Mattas

This review was to be included with all of the other Canadian Music Week and Canadian Music Festival content but decided to split the editorials in half to give proper feature time to the artists that made the cut. After a few obstacles I am back to expressing my thoughts on these two bands.

Not too long ago I covered the headliners Hollywood Undead at a different venue but I have never seen Abandon All Ships live. They are one of those bands I always miss and the same thing almost happened again! Arrived at venue a few seconds to camera call, did not know if I missed it. Luckily for me the girl at the door was very helpful and the fabulous Live Nation escort came to get me, thank you for that! As we rushed into the pit I was scoping out the crowd, it was pretty packed already and Abandon All Ships was the second of three bands to grace the  Phoenix stage that night. DRUMS - ABANDON ALL SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013ABANDON ALL SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013Abandon All Ships is a five piece Electronicore band from Toronto, they have been on the scene since 2006 and will be releasing a new record July 3rd. I’ve heard two of their tracks before “Take One Last Breath” and “Infamous” which I recognized as they played them in their set. Aita’s screaming was fantastic, I love hearing growls that you can mostly understand. When Angelo Aita is not screaming he could be a little more entertaining and personable with the crowd as could Bassist Martin Broda. His vocals were decent, he has a nice tone to his voice and there is potential but he needs to work on his breathing, enunciation. The one reason I don’t listen tot his band is I am not a fan of autotuned vocals. Guitarist Daniel Ciccotelli was the most entertaining of the band, they all could have used a little more energy but overall a respectable performance…I recommend checking them out if you want a pleasant fusion of music in your ears.  MARTIN BRODA - BASS/VOX - ABANDON ALL SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CANGELO AITA - VOX - ABANDON  SHIPS LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013

www.AbandonAllShips.com

TORONTO CROWD @ HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013Hollywood Undead were the headliners, the house lights were dimming , the fog started to emerge and once the beat dropped the crowd was fired up and ready for the band to blow them away! HU started in with the intro “Dust In The Wind” morphing into their set with hit single “Undead”. I was expecting the crowd to be a lot crazier than they were, it was like they were fighting the urge to crowd surf and mosh. A few were brave enough to fly around but in my opinion not enough people  were surfing considering how many bodies were in the venue, I was a little dissapointed in Toronto. It was good to see more females this time around, all were enjoying themselves and some were having a little too much fun! One girl in particular was escorted by security a few times because she was too intoxicated, some people just don’t know their limit or how to handle their liquor. As much as I dislike shooting in mosh pits or with crowd surfers, I love to photograph them and look forward to these shows just to get shots of the amazing crowd. Not this time…Although they were very energetic it did not compare to the crowd when I first covered Hollywood Undead at the Sound Academy. It could be because the band always comes to Toronto in the middle of cold ass Canadian winter, when most of us are hibernating in our igloos (ha ha). As I migrated out of the pit and back into the crowd area it was pretty packed for a Wednesday night where more than 300 other bands were playing across the city for the 2013 Canadian Music Week festival. DA KURLZZ - MC/DRUMS - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2DANIEL MURILLO - VOX - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2Once the band began to play, the first few songs were strong but soon enough I could hear there was something off, it sounded like they were having some technical issues with the equipment. Messier and a little strained but then again it was not their fault, the sound system clearly needs an overhaul. If you have the option to migrate around and shoot from different angles, always take it! The more options the bettter but there were a few newer photographers camping out at the same place for all three tunes. I love shooting the masks especially the ones that light up, I have mentioned this before in prior reviews so I will skip the details. I do wonder if they can see in those things? I did see that they were sweating bullets under those masks, I tried my best to avoid sweat drops on me or my lens. last time there was no pit and this venue usually doesn’t have one, I came prepared ready to shoot from anywhere  in the venue.J3T - MC - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX  CMF 2013HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013On with the show! It was the same setlist as the last performance covered, the fans eagerly chanted and sang the words to each song before the beats dropped. Majority of them knew the track order off by heart. It’s always cool to watch all of this transpire after I am done photographing the band, you can feel the love the people have for their favorite musical act. The Larries of Hollywood Undead are stepping their game up every time I catch a set, Funny Man is not lurking in the shadows as much anymore however, I did see him standing in a corner taking it all in. His voice is full of bass when he flows, my ears like this sound! If  keeps up the crowd visibility and confidence enhancement, he will actually embody his nickname on stage. “I didn’t expect him to sound like that, he doesn’t look like he can rap” said a girl to her friend in the crowd. How can you tell by looking at someone if they can rap or sing? Some people are seriously delayed.FUNNY MAN - MC - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013J DOG - MC/KEYS HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013The whole band had much more energy at the January show, but they had the charisma necessary to deliver what the fans were expecting, a great fucking performance. They just released a new record titled “Notes From The Underground”, working on that review. I like their style of Rap Rock crossbreeding especially the beats, these Eminemabee’s are growing on me. J3T and Charlie had the tightest flow with the most conviction followed by Funny Man and J-Dog. Danny sang his heart out as the crowd was singing along with him. There were moments he sounded a little tired but kept his energy up throughout the show. The Drummers had a nice solo which is always fantastic to watch because there are two of them, Da Kurlzz who floated the stage even more occasionally shaking out his curly fro hair. And, there was D-Rock who kept the beats on lock the entire set! I always try my best to get shots of every person on stage but sometimes it’s hard getting a clear shot of the drummer. And with this band it was more challenging because there are nintey five band members on the stage ha ha.DA KURLZZ - MC/DRUMS - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2CHARLIE SCENE - MC/VOX/GUITAR - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOEHOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013J-Dog was rocking the Axe and Keys throughout the set as was Charlie Scene and Danny. But, J-Dog took it to the next level and jammed out on the speaker with his guitar for a few minutes, the crowd loved that! J-Dog is the most improved this time, they need to do more stage antics and work on interacting with the audience. Bringing a few fans up on stage every show is a good start.J3T - MC - HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX  CMF 2013HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013During the set in January Charlie Scene’s twin Larry was chosen to come on stage. This time, they invited two little boys both of whom looked under eleven (all ages show). The little Larries were dancing around trying to rap with the big boys, that was too cute. I love it when bands acknowledge their fans even when they have mascara tears, make them feel special and they will always come back for more. Hollywood Undead closed the set with “We Are” the first single from the new album. On that note, I suggest checking both bands live if you get the chance.

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HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD LIVE @ THE PHOENIX CMF 2013
All Photography By: Fridae Mattas

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