Search Results for "Solo Project"

DS Interview: Greg Graffin on his latest solo effort and new Bad Religion

A couple Fridays ago (March 10th, to be precise) Greg Graffin released a stellar new album, Millport (ANTI- Records). It marks the first time in more than a decade that the Bad Religion frontman has pressed the “pause” button on his punk rock day job in favor of a more traditional, folksy Americana vibe. Millport features not only a core lineup that should seem very familiar to fans of both punk and Americana: Social Distortion‘s Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, Brent Harding, and David Hidalgo Jr., but it also includes production credit from Brett Gurewitz, long the musical yin to Graffin’s yang.

While Graffin and his Millport session colleagues rank as some of the most legendary names in punk rock, a project like this allowed them to let go of the traditional constraints of trying to hone a singular sound. “The great thing about this project is that you’re hearing unconstrained love of the songs, and unconstrained love of creating something that we felt was a blend of many genres and therefore something that’s truly creative,” says Graffin, though he quickly points out that none of that is to say that crafting a new Bad Religion album is formulaic; it’s just a different standard. “It’s one of the great challenges as artist is to maintain the tradition of his or her prior work. That’s hard to do. It normally takes (Bad Religion) two years to put out an album. Why has it taken us four year to release an album after True North? Well, True North was such a great album — and we owe it to our fans to take it seriously as a great album — that to do another one is going to take a lot more work.

Graffin and company holed up at California’s Studio 606 and Big Bad Sound for ten days of creating and recording last April, in what he says was basically akin to “hitting record and having a party.” The result is an album that’s the strongest and most cohesive of his solo career, with sounds that range from folk to bluegrass to 70’s rockers that would make Neil Young and Crazy Horse proud. Perhaps the album’s most upbeat singalong is “Time Of Need,” with it’s “Hey Man!” chorus that draws heavily on traditional Gospel hymnals, a bit of a curious decision for someone who’s spent close to four decades fronting a band called Bad Religion. He explains: “One of the greatest things about religion — if it can be said from a guy in Bad Religion — there’s something good about it and it has nothing to do with theology or the philosophy of it, but it has a lot to do with the music. The music is what is handed down through the generations, and punk rock is a kind of roots music now.

Instead of focusing on the lure of paradise and an eternal afterlife, “Time Of Need” places the responsibility for making things better squarely on the shoulders of the listener, and of humanity. “In the old days,” says Graffin, “the Gospels would sing about how hard times were and how God is going to deliver us. What I’m trying to say is that God’s not going to deliver us. We have to be responsible ourselves for this changing environment and changing surroundings. No religion can help this time of need.”

We caught up with Graffin over the phone during a recent late winter blizzard that blanketed much of the Northeast with some of the biggest snow totals of the season. As you might imagine, we talked quite a bit about Graffin and Gurewitz’s long history as collaborators, and just how the solo, Americana projects inspire the two punk rock icons in ways we might not have expected. We also touched on just what the Social D trio brought to the project, and how Graffin hopes to balance solo and Bad Religion material going forward while raising the bar in both areas.

Head below to read our full Q&A!

 



Kepi Ghoulie releases new album

Former Groovie Ghoulies frontman Kepi Ghoulie has released a new solo album titled Lost and Lovin’ It through Eccentric Pop Records. Check out two of the tracks below, and head over here to grab the LP.

Lost and Lovin’ It is Kepi’s first full-length in half a decade, following 2011’s I Bleed Rock & Roll. The album features guest appearances from Dan Potthast of MU330, Jimmy Boom of the Phenomenauts, and more.



Jeff Rosenstock announces UK/EU tour

Jeff Rosenstock has announced a slew of upcoming European tour dates. The month-long jaunt kicks off at Groezrock on April 30th and runs through May 27th in Brighton, UK. Check out the full rundown below.

Rosenstock is still touring in support of his latest release, last year’s stellar “WORRY.” which was put out via SideOneDummy.



Video: Yotam unveils mini documentary “True Traveller”

Useless ID frontman Yotam Ben Horin, who’s taken to going simply by Yotam professionally, has just released a mini documentary. It’s called True Traveller, and it chronicles his May 2016 tour of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The 12-ish minute video is pretty compelling, particularly in light in light of recent sociopolitical events in that region; watch it below.

Yotam is just about to kick off another tour of Russia, Israel and select European cities. Check out the full rundown below the video.

 

Yotam remains touring in support of his stellar latest album, “California Sounds”, which was released back in October of 2015 on Hardline Entertainment.



Wear Your Wounds (Jacob Bannon from Converge) stream new song “Fog”

Wear Your Wounds, the solo project of Converge front man Jacob Bannon, are gearing up to release their self-titled debut album via Deathwish Inc on April 7th.  The album was recorded with guest musicians including Kurt Ballou (Converge), Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Unraveller), Chris Maggio (Sleigh Bells, Trap Them, Coliseum), and Sean Martin (Hatebreed, Cage, Kid Cudi, Twitching Tongues).  On the album, the band focuses on the slower and more experimental style found on Converge releases.  To give you a taste of what to expect, the band is streaming the song “Fog,” which you can check out below.



Matt Pryor releases video for “Mary”

Matt Pryor has released an animated video for “Mary”. The track is from last month’s “Memento Mori” full length, which was released on Equal Vision.

You can watch the video below. He embarks on a  length tour with Dan Andriano this week – dates below too.



Divided Heaven (acoustic punk) announces West Coast US tour

Los angeles acoustic-punk musician Divided Heaven has announced a string of West Coast US tour dates for this spring. The tour will mostly be supporting indie-punk acoustic aficionado, Travis Hayes, although there are a few solo dates towards the end of the run.

This tour will begin on March 4th in Bolinas, CA and will end on April 15th in San Diego, CA. You can check out a full list of dates and locations below.

Divided Heaven, the project of Jeff Berman, is finishing up the recording of a new album with Charlie Stavish.  He last released Youngblood in March 2014.



DS Photo Galley: Dave Hause and the Mermaid with Vapers and Rebuilder (Cambridge, MA)

In the handful of years since The Loved Ones went on their sort of indefinite hiatus (last year’s anniversary shows notwithstanding), Dave Hause hit the ground running as a solo artist, playing shows in the States and abroad as part of the Revival Tour or opening for acts like Alkaline Trio, Gaslight Anthem, Flogging Molly, etc. He added his younger brother, Tim, to the mix on guitar and keyboards when it came time to tour in support of his sophomore album, Devour, four years ago, and the two spent several years touring and eventually writing and recording together since.

For the release of his third album, Bury Me In Philly (February 3rd, Rise Records), Hause has assembled a full band, dubbed The Mermaid, consisting of his brother on (mostly) lead guitar, Bad Religion’s Jay Bentley’s son, Miles, on bass, fellow East-Coaster-turned-Californian Kevin Conroy on drums, and the infinitely talented Kayleigh Goldsworthy on keys and guitars and backing vocals. Prior to heading to Europe for their first official tour as a collective unit, Dave Hause and his newly formed backing band, The Mermaid, played a handful of bi-coastal US record release shows in support of his third solo album, Bury Me In Philly . The shows marked the first-ever time that Hause has performed with a full band since going it alone in the post-Loved Ones years, a very clear — yet potentially nerve-wracking — “next step” in his trajectory as a solo artist. If show #6 as a group is any sign of what’s to come, that trajectory is going to take a marked upturn in the very near future.

The quintet scorched through a sixteen-song set to a sold out crowd upstairs at the legendary Cambridge, Massachusetts, Middle East nightclub last Friday. While tracks from Bury Me In Philly took center stage in the set list, Hause’s first two solo albums were well represented in their own respective rights. It’s fair (and perhaps understated) to say that whether as a solo performer or as the leader of the family duo, the elder Hause has always taken full command of whatever stage he’s graced, engaging the crowd and performing as a full-on, band-leading frontman regardless of the setting or the size of the venue. Part of this ability stems obviously from his punk rock days, but part of it was out of necessity, as his engaging passion and honest intensity as a performer kept him from becoming a dime-a-dozen acoustic-wielding solo performer. And while Hause performing solo (or with only Tim as his accompaniment) will always be compelling, watching The Mermaid in action felt like it was meant to be.

The band gelled quickly, with no obvious signs that they’d been playing together in public for what amounts to less than a calendar week. Conroy and Bentley kept the ship steady and pushed the tempo and Goldsworthy, and accomplished musician in her own right, made her almost constantly changing duties come across almost effortless. The formation of the full band has allowed the younger Hause to take over a more prominent role, and he seems to be truly cherishing it. Tim’s immense talent and youthful energy seem not only increasingly natural on stage but inspirational to his frontman older brother, who appears to be relishing his roles as band leader and big brother in equal parts. Having a capable band at his back allows Hause to finally give older songs like “C’Mon Kid” and “Melanin” and personal favorite “Autism Vaccine Blues” the sort of the sort of full, pedal-down justice they deserve, and the five-piece genuinely seem to be having fun performing with each other in the process.

Direct support on this night (and the rest of the brief East Coast run) was provided by Vapers, a New York-based four piece (officially, though there were five on this night) outfit of semi-mysterious origin. Co-fronted by a couple of familiar faces, “Spanish Maria” Correonero and “Uncle Bernard” (the latter of whom looks eerily similar to Hause’s bud and fellow Loved One David Walsh) and backed by a couple of current and/or former members of Morning Glory, the band play a fun brand of poppy, garagey alternative punk that, at least from a sonic perspective, owes as much to the gritty, post-punk New York City (think Sonic Youth) of a decade ago as it does to the lo-fi hipster punk of present day Williamsburg. The sound is a little bit muddy and angular by design, keeping the band from sounding redundant or formulaic. Fun stuff; check them out.

 Local support on this night came from the mighty Rebuilder. I’m not entirely sure what else I can tell you about Rebuilder that I haven’t told you on these pages before, but they’re obviously my favorite band to come out of this part of the States in recent memory. While no doubt capable of commanding larger stages as will someday hopefully be the case, the five-piece certainly know what they’re doing in the role of local openers. The band got down to business quickly, ripping through eight songs with little downtime, perfectly filling their half-hour slot with a set tailored to the occasion. They ran through a couple of new songs from their upcoming EP, Songs From The Massachusetts Turnpike, that may be among the strongest songs they’ve written to date. Stay tuned for more on that…

…and head below for our full photo gallery from the sold-out, sweat-soaked evening!



River Oaks (Shane Told from Silverstein) announces dates with JT Woodruff (Hawthorne Heights)

Silverstein frontman Shane Told’s solo project River Oaks is to tour with JT Woodruff (Hawthorne Heights) and Heavy Things in May. The list of dates is below.

The tour is in support of River Oaks’ debut self-titled 7”, which came last year on Rise Records.



Dead Frets (folk punk) streaming new song “Curtain Call” off upcoming album, “True South”

Dead Frets (solo project of Jared from Sic Waiting) is streaming a new track off of his upcoming album, True South. The song is called “Curtain Call” and you can stream it below.

True South is scheduled for release on March 10th, 2017 and will follow the 2013 release, AA. 



Joe McMahon (Smoke Or Fire) announced as opening act AND bass player for Nothington’s Euro tour

Smoke Or Fire frontman Joe McMahon is going to be pretty busy over the next few weeks. He’s not only serving as bass player for San Francisco punk band Nothington on their pending European tour, but he’s also serving as opener for the bulk of the shows, the first handful of which will feature McMahon himself backed by a full band. Check out the up-to-date tour rundown below.

McMahon’s recent solo effort, Another Life, was released back on September 2nd though Smartpunk in the US, while Gunner Records handled its European release. Nothington recently returned from a brief hiatus. They released their latest album Borrowed Time in 2011 through Red Scare Industries, and announced plans for a new record in 2015.



Dan Andriano/Matt Pryor split 7″ released

Asian Man Records are streaming the new split 7″ from Dan Andriano and Matt Pryor. The two track affair is streaming below.



Matt Pryor streams new album, announces tour dates

The Get Up Kids frontman Matt Pryor is streaming his 5th solo studio album, Memento Mori, ahead of its February 17th release date.  You can check it out below.

In addition, Pryor is getting ready to embark on a 3-month U.S. tour with Dan Andriano of  Alkaline Trio, and you can find all those dates below.

Memento Mori will be released by Equal Vision and Rory Records.



Jake Clarke and Spur (Dream Punk) stream split

Jake Clarke, former guitarist and vocalist for Superheaven before their indefinite hiatus, and Spur, a dream punk band from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, are streaming an 11 song split through Disposition Collective’s Bandcamp page. You can listen to it below.

The last release from Jake Clarke was “4 Song E.P.” released August 5, 2015, which you can find on his Bandcamp page here. Spur’s last release was a demo, titled “Demo 2016,” which was released on February 16, 2016. Jake and Spur are set to play a run of two shows together in Pennsylvania in support of their split. You can find the dates and locations beneath the stream.



New Music: Greg Graffin – “Backroads Of My Mind” from upcoming full-length, “Millport”

There’s a new track streaming from Greg Graffin‘s upcoming solo album, Millport. It’s called “Backroads Of My Mind,” and you can check it out here.

About the track, Graffin, the legendary Bad Religion frontman, has this to say:

“Those old roads, like my memories, have long been neglected and lately are in decline.”

Millport is due out March 10th via ANTI- Records, and finds Graffin backed by three-quarters of the current Social Distortion lineup: Johnny Wickersham on guitar, David Hidalgo Jr. on drums, and Brent Harding on bass. Stay tuned for more on this one as release day approaches.