The unexpecting town of Flint is home to one the nation’s most celebrated independent music venues. The Machine Shop is a nationally acclaimed medium-sized concert hall that has been hosting, supporting, and celebrating bands for over twenty years. They accommodate a variety of acts and tend to favor heavier genres. This diamond in the rough was the perfect spot for Thrash Metal legends Death Angel to put on a headlining show. The boys from the Bay Area brought their magic to Michigan on one of their off days from the Klash of the Titans run. Kreator and Sepultura teamed up for a thrash-filled tour with Death Angel and Spiritworld as special guests. The hard-working quintet sprinkled in a few headlining gigs during the month-long tour and The Shop was lucky enough to snag one of them. Continue reading →
Flint, Michigan, might be known for the crime, cars, and crisis. Yet this down-and-out town has more to offer than that. Music fans know it best for being home to The Machine Shop. This nationally acclaimed music venue has been hosting, supporting, and celebrating bands for twenty years. This special concert lounge has gained its reputation because of their genuine love of live music and doting on its patrons. They bring to mid-Michigan audiences an enthusiasm and care most venues don’t bother with anymore. It was a bright, spring evening last weekend when a group of goth kids formed a line outside this beloved hall’s doors. They were exposed to more sunlight than what they were probably used to, but it was worth it because the Symphonic Black Metal Titans, Cradle of filth, werein town. Continue reading →
Suburban Scum with Will Putney – Photo Credit: Sean Sullivan
New Jersey hardcore outfit Suburban Scum will be releasing their upcoming release this summer via Closed Casket Activities. The album was recently tracked by Will Putney at The Machine Shop (Body Count, Vision Of Disorder, The Acacia Strain) and takes the straightforward, hungry hardcore energy of their previous recordings to a dynamic new level of ferociousness.
Since 2010 Suburban Scum has released a solid pile of recordings, including their debut Infernal War EP with Ride The Fury Records, the 2012-released Hanging By A Thread EP on 6131 Records, a split with Incendiary via Closed Casket Activities and most recently a split 12″ with Xibalba also on Closed Casket released last year. Their clear-cut delivery is elementally hardcore to the bone; completely enraged and outspoken, with enough metal to make its presence known and not overthrow the core of the songs, their lyrics streetwise but realistic, not overly dramatic. Having made their presence known on tour with the likes of Expire, Rotting Out, Backtrack, Harm’s Way, Bitter End, Downpresser and many others, and their energetic performances at major festivals including This Is Hardcore, Sound & Fury, United Blood, Rain Fest and more have been well-documented with Youtube visual evidence and mass reports of bodily harm during performances.
The band has announced their upcoming tour and dates are posted below.
Suburban Scum Tour Dates: Mar 03: Korova – San Antonio, TX Mar 04: Electric Banana – El Paso, TX Mar 05: Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM Mar 06: Nile Underground – Mesa, AZ Mar 07: The Echo – Los Angeles, CA Mar 08: Metro Sideroom – Oakland, CA Mar 09: RBU Davis University – Sacramento, CA Mar 10: Holland Project – Reno, NV Mar 11: Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT Mar 12: Marquis Theater – Denver, CO Mar 13: Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA Mar 14: Minehaha Freespace – Minneapolis, MN Mar 15: The Borg Ward – Milwaukee, WI Mar 16: The Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL Mar 17: The Foundry – Cleveland, OH Mar 18: Legends – Covington, KY Mar 19: The Demo – St Louis, MO Mar 20: The Conservatory – Oklahoma City, OK Mar 21: Walters – Houston, TX Mar 22: QuikTrip Park – Grand Prairie, TX (South By So What?!) Apr 10: Game Changer World – Howell, NJ (w/ No Warning, Breakdown, Foundation, Think I Care, King Nine) Apr 18: The Palladium – Worcester, MA (New England Metal & Hardcore Fest) May 16: Webster Hall – New York, NY (Black N’ Blue Bowl)
Twin Cities, Minnesota based metal act Reflections will enter The Machine Shop this week with producer Will Putney to begin work on their yet-to-be-titled sophomore release for Good Fight Music / eOne Music, out Summer 2015. “When we heard we had the opportunity to work with Will we were all about it,” says frontman Jake Foster. “We’re huge fans of all The Machine Shop’s work.”
“For the first time, we’ve written an album where listening to it all the way through will tell you a story. After an eye opening year of touring while trying to maintain life at home, I feel that we have truly written our best music yet.”
Stream the official music video for “Vain Words From Empty Minds”, off their last LP Exi(s)there.
The all new LP will be the follow up to the highly regarded Exi(s)t released by the band in 2013. That release debuted on the Billboard charts for the first time in the band’s history, most notably cracking the top 10 on the Heatseekers chart at #6. “The music that we have been working on is much more thought out and organized. We focused more on song structure and finding a balance of style that will separate us from everyone else.”
REFLECTIONS is: Jake Wolf // Patrick Somoulay // Charles Caswell // Francis Xayana // Nick Lona
The spirit of the riff continues as a new breed of rock bands have risen and carried the torch of what artists of the 1960s and 1970s had created. Crobot is part of the new breed of rock revivalists who are injecting the scene with a much needed boost of excitement, and their first full length release Something Supernatural is catching fans by surprise.
They recently supported Chevelle on their East Coast leg this past winter. Being a fellow rock band on the scene, Crobot connected with their audience immediately and won over new fans.
“It was a good response,” said guitarist Chris Bishop, about their tour supporting Chevelle. “We sell a lot of merch, which is nice. Their crew is super cool, and so are the guys in the band, which is nice. It’s always cool.”
“They just went out with our buddies in Kyng. It was probably a couple months ago they went out with them. I think they enjoy the stoner-rock stuff we do.”
Crobot began in 2011 in Pottsville, PA when singer Brandon Yeagley and guitarist and Tennessee native Chris Bishop found a common bond between them with their mutual love of bluesy riff rock. They later added bassist Jake Figueroa and his brother, drummer Paul, to the fold.
“We’ve been around since 2011. That’s when Crobot first started. That was me and the singer started the band. We played around with a couple different blues rock bands in the New Jersey/PA area, and that’s where we met Jake [Figueroa, bass] and Paul [Figueroa, drums]. They’re brothers and ended up joining the band before we got signed by Wind Up. The rest is history.”
They recorded an EP in 2012 called The Legend Of The Spaceborne Killer, which helped attract fans everywhere they played.
“What had happened was…I’d say in 2012 we independently released our CD. At the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, that’s when Wind Up started talking to us. It took almost all of 2013 to get signed. It’s the lawyer stuff and everything. It was in September of that year when we signed our deal. Then we went in and recorded the album in November. Then it brings us to this year  when we released the album and toured extensively on it. Even before we were signed to Wind Up, they were behind us on a lot of our touring, which was good. It was like we were part of the family even before we were signed.”
They recorded Something Supernatural with super producer Machine (Lamb of God, Clutch) in Austin, TX at The Machine Shop. Working together, they were able to create a strong sounding record that exceeded their expectations.
“This was the debut with him. He found us at South By Southwest. It was all by chance we got together. He was a huge fan of the band and saw us a bunch before we started pre-production. We recorded for two months. It was really awesome. He knew exactly what we were going for and how to get it.”
In a nutshell, Crobot has an older blues rock sound with a modern vibe that fans of big riff rock can immediately get into.
“We all started off with the same influences. We learned our instruments through our parent’s music. Especially me – I learned to play guitar by listening to what my mom was listening to. Especially in the beginning almost all musicians learn Zeppelin songs and Sabbath songs and Hendrix. A lot of people stray away from that but we always kept that our number one priority for us. We always loved that kind of music. We always loved groove music, like Clutch is my favorite band. It’s a huge influence on us and it’s the groove and the simplicity of the riff is very important for Crobot.”
One aspect that is not often heard recently is the harmonica, which Yeager plays on a couple of songs on the album. While mainly strictly blues oriented artists were better known for utilizing this within their songs, Crobot was encouraged to try something different within their songs.
“We were always a bluesy based band. The harmonica was something that Brandon [Yeagley] always did. There were a couple songs that we played it on. Machine was all about it. He really encouraged him to play harmonica and it was really awesome. I’m really happy with the two tracks. Actually one of the tracks didn’t get released on the album, and will be out at some point.”
While Bishop sites artists such as Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix as influences, he does rave about some newer bands who have shaped his playing style as well.
“Definitely Clutch for me, being the guitar player and writing riffs. I always love the funk of Tim Sult’s playing and how he uses effects to make a little trippy and being more of a groove guitar player than a shred guitar player. I’ve always liked player like that.”
“Even when you look at bluesier guitar players like Hendrix, he’s a feel player. His feelings are in his bends and he’s very melodic. His rhythm playing is not just playing super fast and ripping through everything. Most of my favorite players, like Bob [Balch] from Fu Manchu and Tim Sult from Clutch – they’re all groove players. That’s what I want to be.”
Bishop explained the odd sounding band name. Much like their sound, their name is somewhat of a play on words about how they heard their own sound as becoming the band moniker.
“We had a few different names we were tossing around. We didn’t like any of them. I asked my buddy Dave Ashton about band names and he was like ‘so what do you sound like?’ I said we were playing some Crowbar-y type riffs with robotic effects. Then he was like ‘Oh…Crobot.’ That was pretty awesome, so we kept it.”
Ironically they shared a stage with Crowbar, which he was a huge fan of. “We just played with them [Crowbar] a few days ago. It was awesome. I met Kirk [Windstein] and the rest of the band were really, really cool to us. They really enjoyed the band. Watching them play was like listening to the devil’s soundtrack. It was so awesome!”
While Crobot has a dirty bluesy rock sound that the music world is growing familiar with, there is one place they have yet to spend much time in that their brand of music was popularized in.
“Not really. We’ve travelled through it a couple of times. We’ve only been to the West Coast twice. It was awesome driving through the desert. We would listen to Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age going through it. It seemed fitting.”