Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 3/7/16.
Each week, the HRD team shares songs that fly below radio’s radar, ranging from lesser-known artists to deeper cuts from both up-and-coming and established artists.
In addition to exposing the Hard Rock Daddy audience to new music that isn’t getting the attention that it deserves from radio, Music Discovery Monday also features a segment called “Hard Rock Music Time Machine,” which showcases older songs (from the ’70s to today) that hard rock music fans may have missed at the time of release.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlists beneath each section, all songs featured on Music Discovery Monday can be listened to by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles.
This week, Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Joey “Chicago” Walser of Devour The Day, who discusses the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s latest single, “Lightning In The Sky.” Walser also shares a highly entertaining story about a member of his former band (Egypt Central) in the Hard Rock Music Time Machine segment.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
DEVOUR THE DAY – “Lightning In The Sky”
One of the biggest challenges today for newer artists is finding the balance between having a hit single, and not having radio listeners burn out on the single before they get to truly discover what the band has to offer. Through no fault of their own, this was my initial experience with Devour The Day. When I first heard that some of the members of Egypt Central had formed this new band, I was a bit puzzled. After all, Egypt Central was just starting to gain some nice traction. Because I was a fan of EC, I probably didn’t give Devour The Day a fair shake when I first heard it. Shortly thereafter, “Good Man” was all over SiriusXM’s Octane, and to be honest, I burned out on it after hearing it several times a day.
I’m not too proud to admit that I was shortsighted in my initial evaluation of Devour The Day based on hearing one song with a closed mind. Thankfully, I didn’t let my initial burnout prevent me from giving “Lightning In The Sky” (the first single off of their latest album, S.O.A.R.) a chance. Before the song got to the first chorus, I realized that Devour The Day is no one-trick pony, and that it was unfair to define them by my knee-jerk reaction to one single.
Hearing the upbeat feel and pacing of ‘Lightning In The Sky’ reminded me of Thousand Foot Krutch, another modern band with a dynamic ability to showcase multiple layers of sound. My enjoyment of this single also inspired me to do more research about Devour The Day. What I discovered about the band is that I like their approach to life as much as I do their music, (which is meant to deliver a positive message).
In an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Joey “Chicago” Walser discusses the meaning and inspiration behind “Lightning In The Sky”…
“The song has a very specific origin. We met with Rob Caggiano (Volbeat) in New York City, which ended up being the reason that we worked with Dan Korneff (producer). In writing ‘Lighting In The Sky,’ we had the idea (conceptually) about the power of a particular moment in your life…the power of an instant and how everything could change.
We talked about the movie Crash, and how the dynamic of something small can change so many different lives…your life specifically, and then the lives of all of the people around you. It’s almost like the ripple effect of a stone hitting the water.
As we were going through the imagery, ‘lightning in the sky’ is something that stuck out to all of us because it’s such a powerful phenomenon, especially when that metaphor is attached to what a new relationship feels like, or what a particular person can do in your life (even if they’re only there for a short time). We just thought that it was such a beautiful, mysterious, (sometimes tragic) moment in the life of any human being.
The concept is a very relatable, and something that we had never touched on before. It was a really cool experience, and this particular song, I think, is a great photograph of what it feels like to have loved and lost, and/or being so affected by a particular moment or person in life.”
BITERS – “1975”
When you mention modern bands and glam in the same breath, your thoughts immediately go to the glory days of ‘80s hair metal. While glam may be most often associated with the ‘80s, the movement began at least a decade earlier (albeit in a less overblown way), with artists like David Bowie, Alice Cooper and the like. Biters are a current band that has a definitive ‘70s glam vibe with a bit of a punk edge, making them stand out as being something totally different today. You have to wonder if they chose “1975” as the year that they want to go back to because it is around the time that Cheap Trick (a band that clearly has a big influence on them) made their debut. The song takes you on a nostalgic musical journey back to the ‘70s, without sounding at all dated. With an underlying riff that is reminiscent of the Police hit “Roxanne,” combined with a grittier version of classic Cheap Trick, “1975” is a home run! To make the nostalgic journey complete, make sure to watch the video as you listen to the song.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
TRIVIUM – “Blind Leading The Blind”
Already getting some airplay nationally, this song seems like a strong candidate for a third single from Silence In The Snow (my pick for album of the year in 2015).
REVERENCE – “Cleansed By Fire”
A strong piece of work from Reverence’s sophomore album, Gods Of War. More than any song that I’ve heard from this Detroit outfit previously, I hear a lot of Michael Sweet in the vocals of Todd Michael Hall on this cut. As presented here, it works very well.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
RECKLESS LOVE – “Monster”
Reckless Love continues to fuel a glam rock revival – or, as they like to call it, “merry metal” – with this insanely catchy release from their fourth album. These Scandinavians create a full sound, loaded with groove and big hooks that will surely get your head banging.
SHINETH – “Sweet Mary”
Sebastian Roos (guitar, bass, vocals) teamed with Anders Berlin (drums, keyboards) to form this Swedish melodic rock group in 2002. Together, they capture that ‘80s rock sound (honed by a modern Scandinavian rock influence), on this first single from their newly released album, The Naked Truth. Roos is also the lead singer for Swedish melodic rockers Miss Behaviour.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
LEFT WITH TOMORROW – “Dark Angel”
Left With Tomorrow has been around since 2007. A local band from Wisconsin, they are an adept blend of heavy metal and alternative rock. “Dark Angel” – from the band’s most recent EP, Rise – has a raw edge with a thick, heavy strut which is somewhat similar to Volbeat. They’ll be on under-card for Royal Bliss in May.
SKYRION – “This Madness Of Mine”
“This Madness of Mine” is a powerful track from Skyrion’s just released album, The Edge. The talented, female-fronted prog power metal outfit from Rio de Janeiro delivers a dark driving force from the first note. Clarissa Moraes’ voice has a fitting edge and pitch to it, perfect for the song’s title and theme.
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to – submissions@MusicDiscoveryMonday.com
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
EGYPT CENTRAL – “White Rabbit” (2011)
This week’s featured artist, Devour The Day, rose from the ashes of what was once a promising up-and-coming hard rock band…Egypt Central. “White Rabbit” is the song that turned me onto the band. This is one of those tracks that grabbed me within a few notes and never let go. From the infectiously melodic chorus to the energetic guitars, this song just works. With all of the Alice In Wonderland references, I thought that this song might have had the same psychedelic inspiration as Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit.” It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to speak to Joey “Chicago” Walser that I discovered the true meaning behind the song. The back story of this version of “White Rabbit” is actually far more fascinating and entertaining than I ever could have imagined.
In an exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Walser shared the story behind the writing of “White Rabbit”…
“That was the first song written for the White Rabbit album (with Skid Mills who co-wrote the song). It was the first opportunity for Blake (Allison) and I to have the chance to write without any of the other guys there. The irony of the song is that, in a lot of ways, Blake and I were writing about our singer (John Falls), knowing that he would have to eventually sing it. I don’t know if I’ve ever even said that before.
The managers thought that it was about business guys that we worked with, but to be completely honest, Blake and I loved to write songs about John, and then force him to sing them. That was the way that we kind of got back at him without him ever knowing. That, and rubbing our testicles on his microphone when he went to the bathroom! (laughs) Real talk! John and I have come full circle on our relationship now, so he knows all about this, and everybody is deserving of forgiveness (no matter how stupid their choices are). I hope so, or I’m screwed!
If I remember correctly, Avenged Sevenfold had a song on the chart that helped to inspire the harmonized guitar part (which Egypt Central had never done before). Skid and Blake (who are both excellent guitar players and arrangers) put that together for ‘White Rabbit.’ I had this collection of lyrics that I actually thought of as a verse, and then Skid said he thought that it should be the chorus.
Conceptually, we built a whole song around the idea of Blake and I being two innocent artists walking into the world of music, and John, (not even really knowingly), leading us down this dark hole into the music business. I think that it was such a good metaphor because the ‘white rabbit’ doesn’t really realize that he’s bringing Alice into this kind of awful, insane place because he’s so obsessed with his own agenda.”
LIVING COLOUR – “Open Letter To A Landlord” (1988)
From 1988’s Vivid, “Open Letter To A Landlord” didn’t get as much attention as “Cult Of Personality” (the band’s biggest hit), but it definitely deserved it. Not only is it my favorite Living Colour song, but the lyrics are also incredibly poignant. The chasm that exists between the rich and the poor in America has only continued to widen since this song was released in 1988. Sadly, the way that things are looking these days, the song is even more relevant nearly three decades later…with little hope on the horizon. As a band comprised entirely of black musicians, Living Colour’s “Open Letter To A Landlord” is written from a perspective that is unlike the majority of bands in hard rock, making it almost impossible for listeners to empathize, but it certainly inspires sympathy for the plight of others. It is recommended that you watch the video when listening to get the full impact of the song.
ANOTHER LOST YEAR – “Broken” (2012)
The rise of their most recent single (“Wolves”) sent me back to the debut album from this Charlotte, North Carolina group for a quick time machine visit. Like a previous recommendation, this song also spotlights one of the band’s strongest points, an ability to deliver songs believably, to take the listener into the story / setting with them.
REVERENCE – “After The Leaves Have Fallen” (2012)
I’m hard pressed to think of a down-tempo song/ballad that made a more positive impression on me than this track (which was my first exposure to the band). By nature, I’m inclined toward up-tempo songs, so to have been thoroughly blown away by this on the first listen was an unusual and memorable experience. From the same album, I also recommend “Bleed For Me” for a rowdier outing, but this will likely always be the song that I think of first when I think of the band.
NEVERDREAM – “Silence” (2008)
Italian progressive metal band Neverdream crafted an ode to the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster with this favorite from their 2008 concept album, Souls 26-April 1986. Tickling piano keys and an emotional saxophone solo brighten some grim riffs in a song that wonders what’s become of the sun.
SAVATAGE – “The Wake Of Magellan” (1997)
The title track from Savatage’s 1997 album is a tour de force of progressive and symphonic metal. Vocalist Zak Stevens is at his best here, with every instrument playing furiously in support, and layered vocals at the end that spiral the whole affair up to a whole other level of musicianship and madness.
DREAM EVIL – “Chasing The Dragon” (2002)
Sweden’s Dream Evil burst onto the scene back in 1999, with their first album release in 2002, Dragonslayer. The lead track, “Chasing the Dragon,” showcases their great mix of power, articulation and melody with the tremendous talents of “Kostas” Karamitroudis (aka Gus G.).
Y&T – “I’m Coming Home” (2010)
“I’m Coming Home” is signature material from California’s perennial hard-n-heavy rockers, Y&T. Great rhythms and lead guitar work, plus the memorable melodic vocals that we have grown accustomed to from Dave Meniketti & company in their 40+ years of kicking ass.