Following the announcement of their album, Asking Alexandria have announced the title and have released another song. The new record will be self-titled and is set for a 15th December release. The album is the first to have original frontman Danny Worsnop back after his departure in 2015.
The new song released today is called Where Did It Go? and throws some serious shade at modern metal bands… It sounds a bit like this:
At the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham date of their ongoing tour of the UK, we caught up with rock icon Frank Iero to talk about everything from food and touring to mental health.
What’s the rationale behind the tour supports? It’s a very diverse lineup…
For me, I’ve been doing this a long time. If I can’t tour around with bands I like then I don’t want to do it. I get to hand-pick who comes out with me and throughout the years I’ve got to meet some really cool people. I wanted to do a tour that would be my last one for a little while and these are my friends that are free and up for touring now.
What would you say is the best aspect of touring?
It’s definitely not the travel; the travel is what gets really hard. Getting to play these songs for different audiences is great – you get such a different reaction every night. Especially going overseas to Europe or the UK in that the cities aren’t far away from each other but the reaction is so different. Realising that and being able to duck and weave with that kind of thing to be like “this really works here, this doesn’t work here” helps you look really professional and get good at performing every night.
Would you say the worst aspect of touring is the travel?
Definitely, it’s hard! The fifth week of tour is where things get really hard, especially when you’re overseas. That’s when people start to crack get really homesick and get angry like “I can’t believe there’s no chips left!” People just explode. The fifth week is especially hard when there’s a sixth week happening though because by week five everyone goes crazy but if you have another week after this one it seems like it’s endless. We’re all really twitchy by the end of the fifth week. I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s always the way [laughs]. By the way, this is the fifth week…
Why do such an extensive UK run as opposed to playing the cities like everyone else?
I know I’m going to take a break after this year and I just wanted to do as much as I could. Nobody else does that, I don’t think. People have been coming up to us saying “why are you here? Nobody comes here,” and we just reply “because nobody comes here.” It’s fun! I just want to go out on a bang.
What’s the difference tour-wise between Frank Iero and the Patience, My Chemical Romance and Leathermouth?
Everything. It’s like asking what’s the difference between being a fireman, making doughnuts and being a shark… Literally the only thing the same is that there are shows involved.
What do you eat on tour?
[laughs] we’ve been using chopsticks a lot. Nando’s and peanut butter jelly… That’s been the staple stuff. Pizza Express just came out with vegan pizza too which is dope. Quavers is the other food group too.
Who’s the favourite band you’ve ever shared a tour bill with?
[sighs] all the bands I’m with right now…? Honestly that’s like picking your favourite kid, I’ve got a lot of friends. I’ve done tours in the past where I thought “oh this person sucks” and I just didn’t tour with them again. I think you can tell from my track record the people I like though.
Is there anyone you want to tour with in the near future?
[long pause, friend Cara Shaw suggests The Breeders] The Breeders, oh man… They would be amazing. How did I not think of them?
You’ve spoken a lot about working with Steve Albini on the new EP but can you sum it up in five words?
Unlike any other experience ever.
How did the cover art with [Radio 1 DJ] Daniel P Carter come about?
Dan and I have known each other a long time and he ended up doing the cover art for the split seven inch we did with Lonely the Brave a couple of years ago then we discussed working on the cover art for Parachutes but when the full scope of what that record was about it made sense for both of us to go in a different direction. I’d seen the first painting [the vampire that was to become the cover] and loved it enough to say “we should definitely do this one”.
You’ve spoken before about issues with anxiety – could you give us any advice for how to manage it at shows or on tour, from your experience?
I have to say – it’s rough. Sometimes you just go through a period where you don’t know what will set it off but your brain is so powerful it throws everything off kilter. I have a prescription I take for moments like that, when I don’t know when it’ll happen. The most important thing is to recognise you’re having an episode and the world isn’t falling apart around you. You need to settle down, breathe deep and compose yourself a bit. It’s almost like you’re having a nightmare and you have to remind yourself that you’re dreaming. It still sucks, but you’ll get through it. Surrounding yourself with people you love and feel comfortable with also helps.
What’s been your career highlight?
I have an answer for this because I was asked this the other day. It has to be getting to write a song with my kids [Best Friends Forever, from the new Frank Iero and the Patience EP] and record it with a childhood hero [producer Steve Albini]. That was a very full-circle moment. It’s almost like I planned it out… I didn’t but anyway [laughs].
Have you got any advice for young musicians?
It’s not a miracle thing that just happens. You’ve got to want it, and you’ve got to work really fucking hard. Ultimately it’s down to the saying ‘nobody cares, work harder’ [laughs]. Do it because you have to, not because you think you’ll get something out of it. You’ll be miserable for a long, long time. If you do it for the right reasons you’ll spend years and years trying.
Is taking time off what’s next for you?
Yes, totally. We end literally the 30th December and nothing else is booked. Back to the US after this to do three shows with The Descendents, one with Every Time I Die then three with Thursday and PUP then we’re done for a while.
Huge thanks to Frank for taking the time out to talk to us, it was a hugely surreal experience and he’s a hugely inspiring character!
Hear the new version of BFF below, or the original featuring his daughters in 2014 here:
Dutch three-piece Paceshifters were first up on the bill with their energetic alt-rock anthems being belted out at the ever-filling venue. Despite being first up, the band has been going longer than any of the other projects by a considerable margin but that hasn’t made them look tired; brothers Paul and Seb Dokman co-fronting the show brings a warm connection with not only each other but with the audience, and a portion of the audience fell in love with the fraternity all three members seemed to have onstage. Drummer Jesper Albers is by no means the odd-one-out alongside the siblings either – his hard-hitting drumbeats and phenomenal energy showed off he was the best drummer of the night’s bill. Finishing off with a guest appearance from The Patience guitarist Evan Nestor to play a Nirvana cover A punchy and momentum-building tour for them, no doubt. [8/10]
Next up, bringing his stripped-down stage show to the UK stage was Derek Zanetti (better known as The Homeless Gospel Choir) who possesses unique stage presence which just makes every member of the audience feel at ease with his style and grace. Very much the US Frank Turner in terms of song-style, his recorded music varies from acoustic to full-band but his stage show is an incredibly vulnerable, heart-on-his-sleeve affair with breaks mid-song to talk to the crowd. The stop-start nature is anything but a disappointment though, and it felt like he became a friend to every audience member watching on in his time onstage performing songs largely from his latest album The Homeless Gospel Choir Presents: Normal. A fantastic talent with some very poignant opinions and stories to share, someone to never miss if he’s touring. [9/10]
Punk frontman Dave Hause may have only been with The Mermaid as a band since February, but the last show on the tour before he departed was his 111th of the year with them – not bad going for a new band. The diversity in his catalogue was evident throughout with some songs having hints of Bryan Adams in them and others being far more middle-of-the-road rock and roll styling, but Hause‘s frontman capabilities are completely evident throughout every single song. His display of Rickenbacker, Gibson and Nash guitars showed his experience and commitment to the road after all these years, and storming through songs from each of his solo albums proved his songwriting prowess. Dedicating fan-favourite Dirty Fucker to Donald Trump proved popular, but not as popular as him giving out free shirts throughout the song because he didn’t want to take them back home to the US. A cover of Tom Petty seemed a fitting tribute as members of The Patience came out to make a giant supergroup of the two bands. A classy set from a band that will definitely make their name on the road with ease if they choose to stick together as The Mermaid. [9/10]
Now infamous in his own right after 2 stellar albums and fresh of the back of his first EP, Frank Iero and his band The Patience came out to a lot of excited fans and immediately broke into World Destroyer to kick off one of the best punk rock sets Nottingham has seen in recent years. The no-holds-barred, sing-scream-shout blend of Frank’s vocals brings the level of excitement through the roof and the backing of long-time guitarist Evan Nestor brings a stage chemistry to rival many of the biggest bands in the world right now. A The Replacements cover with Dave Hause and a rendition of The Beatles‘ Helter Skelter threw some proof of their cultured influences (as if they needed the proof anyway), and the emotional performance of Best Friends Forever proved a set highlight – a song cowritten with his daughters back in 2014. Between songs, the chats with the crowd and accepting beers from the crowd just demonstrates Frank is one of the last true punk rockers onstage in 2017 – a sad reality but he is keeping the breed alive. Fantastic set from a fantastic band, The Patience are one of the most exciting touring bands right now. [9/10]
Following a long period of playing shows with no big releases, emo/grunge mob Muskets are back with their debut full-length album CHEW, which quickly establishes its dominance over the modern grunge scene. Opening track Pond Drop features chunky guitar sounds with altered chords for a slightly eerie tone. First single 17 Years follows this up, showing the more brutal side of this album which is more reminiscent of 2014 EP Spin. The track itself was released about a year ago before the album prep was complete and this version is a rerecording on the new label to go with the album. The gruff vocals that dominate the chorus and the crunchy bass tone through the bridge show Muskets at their best are a force to be reckoned with.
The guitar and bass tones shine throughout the album on every track; the bass introductions to 17 Years and Decay are distorted and groove-laden but even under the loud, punky Chewing Gum it beats away to underpin the sliding leads. In the same way, throughout intros like Breathing the guitar is a dirty hum of chording with lead sections in You’re So Cool are packed with a shimmery shoegaze tone that sounds fantastic over the top of the rest of the beat.
At the more punk end of the album’s spectrum, Frankie Stable is a fast, dynamic track with a bit more of the “let’s keep this sloppy and see how it goes” feel that defines Muskets in the market today. The first verse is a fairly high, shouted section that breaks into slower, groovy chorus to make a smooth blend of tuned and raw that works to great effect. Closing the album with Umbilical saves the slowest for last but is by no means the least of the tracks. The trippy end piece plays the album out with a mellow guitar feedback section with a slow bassline thudding away to finish off the collection.
Perhaps the most notable thing about the whole album (as with the rest of the band’s discography to date) is the rare addition of Anglicised vocals throughout CHEW which comes as a welcome break from the faux-American accents put on by a lot of UK vocalists across the genres. Hearing the UK origins in a band is particularly satisfying when they have such great natural potential.
Overall the only real criticism that can be made of the album is that it lacks stylistic variety, but the fact it’s their debut album just goes to show they’ve found their sound throughout the last few years and have made a mastery of it before releasing the full-length. A fantastic delivery on the promise their single and EP showed, very exciting emerging UK talent on display.
Of Mice & Men have finally released their documentary titled Unbreakable that depicts their phoenix-like rise from the ashes of Austin Carlile’s departure in late 2016.
Named after their debut single as a four-piece, the film shows off Aaron’s stunning screams that the band had not utilised anywhere near enough prior to Austin leaving.
See the film as a whole on YouTube below:
Opening up to a tiny yet packed Bodega was Honey Lung, London natives with a serious sound. Frontman Jamie Batten led the grunge-shoegaze four-piece out on stage and it was clear the band was inexperienced, yet they just had the star quality that’ll get them a long way in time to come.
Guitarist Charlie Gardner, bassist Dave Sherry and drummer Omri Covo all back up Batten immaculately but the show is all about him. His understated stage presence combined with his vocals and lead parts show he is an all-rounder and the real deal. The young band played through tracks from their debut EP Kind of Alone as well as newer singles Stuttering Mind and finishing up on Sophomore; they showed the Nottingham crowd exactly what they’re about. [7/10]
See them playing Sophomore on Reading Festival’s BBC Introducing stage this summer:
By the time Citizen hit the stage, the small attic room was already unbearably hot – the subject of many comments throughout the set. Opening with Jet from their new album, vocalist Mat Kerekes wasn’t planning on hanging about for introductions. Within minutes, the first crowdsurfers had emerged atop the energetic pit in front of the stage, and it only got more lively from then on in.
The whole set was very reflective in nature: not only did the band comment on the length they’ve been together producing music and on how As You Please is the best album they have made during that time, but nearly half their time onstage was spent playing tracks from their 2013 debut album Youth including Sleep, Roam The Room and How Does It Feel. To the (rather vocal) dismay of a couple of audience members 2015 track Stain did not feature, though their persistence in suggesting it earned them a well-deserved “f*** off” from guitarist Nick Hamm.
Closing the main body of their set with The Summer was a fantastic decision for the crowd participation. The heat in the room had already got sweat dripping from the ceiling and had received many comments from band and audience alike, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the singalong that ensued. The fan favourite track had crowdsurfers, stagedivers, fingerpointers and mic-grabbers all going for it to bring the night to a close as Citizen went to leave the stage. They never quite made it off the small plinth though – they lingered on stage right in full view to have a chat about what they were going to play for the “one more song” the crowd wanted so badly. They came back with As You Please closer Flowerchild to finish off a stellar set in style.
Very exciting band in terms of their new album and their stage show at the moment; if you’re not aware of Citizen yet then get on it with this album cycle, you won’t regret it. [9/10]
See In The Middle of It All from their new album As You Please below; the album is due out Friday:
Citizen have been selling their album at a few tour dates in the UK ahead of it’s release this Friday (6th October) so a few people have heard it – not to mention the fact it leaked a week ago, as guitarist Nick Hamm told the Nottingham crowd on Wednesday.
The fact it’s leaked didn’t curb the enthusiasm of the Michigan five-piece about their latest release however, and for very good reason. Kicking off with Jet (their current set-opener), As You Please gets off on just the right foot: hard-hit drums with relaxed verses climaxing in true Citizen style with both pushed and falsetto high vocals throughout the chorus. The song sounds like their traditional style yet a lot more mature – a natural progression from the band just starting out their recording career back in 2009.
The album varies hugely in style though, with In The Middle of It All bringing in synthesised vocals and the rest of the album sounding like a spectrum ranging between 2013’s Youth and 2015’s Everybody Is Going To Heaven seamlessly. The ending of the mentioned second track chops various tracks in the mix at varying intervals which creates a kind of faulty-record effect that is likely to confuse a lot of fans at first listen or during a half-listening session.
A lot of fans old and new are always interested in Eric’s bass tone – this album is just as phenomenal for that as both the others before it. The quality of it is hard to describe, but the crunchy (almost punky) tone underpinning the emo madness keeps Citizen in check both in the mix and live. Vocally too, Mat Kerekes smashes everything he touches. Whether it’s his cleaned up verses or the straining chorus pushes, he displays that he is the very best fit for the band’s style – whether that be crunchy like the debut, more shoegaze-influenced like the second or halfway between the two where As You Please sits.
The collection closes with Flowerchild which is also acting as one of their closing songs in shows now, featuring an acoustic guitar opening in the record version. By itself, the song shows off the talents of every single band member in their own style. The shift from acoustic to thrashing and loud to soft demonstrates everyone’s different styles, and Kerekes shines bright as a frontman as always. The final 30 seconds of the album being instrumental to play out the fantastically-written and performed fifty minutes of material before it is a fantastic decision that just leaves the listener to relax after the catharsis – the band has pushed out their point and left their audience to do just as they please.
Fast and angsty or slow and emotional, this is genuinely a stunning album that backs up Citizen‘s claims that As You Please is the strongest collection of work they have put out so far.
In terms of live performance, The Five Hundred are a total throwback. Complete with 8 string guitars and 5 string bass, the dance moves are somewhat reminiscent of a 2009 crab-filled Attack Attack! set. That’s where the similarities end though; guitarists Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty put together some fantastic chugging riffs and slick leads which combine with the thumping bass and drums for a real suckerpunch sound.
Unfortunately, the boxy and untreated venue didn’t do much for the heavy tones of the locals; frontman John Eley’s vocals were often lost in the somewhat sludgy sound bounding around the room to the extent that it looked as if he was forcing himself to go louder in parts in order to be heard. That aside, a solid set from good local talent. [6/10]
Harrogate natives Blood Youth were the touring support on this run, bringing their melodic hardcore mania to the Rescue Rooms stage. Well-experienced in playing their debut full-length Beyond Repair by now since its release in April, the heavy verses blew the audience away as is the custom of the three-piece. A better set of tonal settings allowed each band member to cut through the sludgy sound in the venue and despite some microphone issues while walking out onto the stage, frontman Kaya Tarsus put on a phenomenal show.
It’s rare to have someone who has fantastic clean vocals as well as screams and even more rare for them to be backed up by musicians who can also sing, but all three permanent members can harmonise and take over each other’s parts seamlessly; drummer Sam Hallett doing a line in the chorus of I Remember to allow Kaya to breathe indicating the seamless transitioning.
In the middle of the set, Tarsus informed the crowd about filming a video for the self-proclaimed “hesviest Blood Youth song” Parasite, which got the full response it deserved. A great crowd reaction throughout for the band, proving they are one of the best touring bands right now, period. [9/10]
Headliners Blessthefall were last up to work their magic for the Nottingham audience, which perfectly did the job of topping off the night. Having the two vocalists allows Blessthefall an opportunity of having the depth in both vocalists’ voices to do each half immaculately, but having the designated frontman being the clean vocalist in a heavy band means Beau Bokan can move around a lot more – he spent nigh-on half the show in the crowd giving high-fives and hugs.
Ploughing through tracks old and new only showed off Bokan’s vocal abilities, combining with Jared’s screams (also immaculate throughout the set) and Eric’s silky-smooth leads led to a melody/aggression combination that was backed up with the rhythm section to a T. A fantastic set from a band who seem to have a lot to prove over the next couple of years. [8/10]
See some fan-filmed footage of 2015 album track Dead Air performed on Saturday: