Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 5/4/15.
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’s Music Discovery Monday features an exclusive interview with Hellyeah frontman, Chad Gray, who shares the inspiration and meaning behind the band’s latest single, “Hush,” and the NO MORE campaign to end domestic violence.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
HELLYEAH – “Hush”
Chad Gray has become one of the most distinct vocalists in hard rock and metal today, and his talents are on full display with Hellyeah’s latest single, “Hush.” With the release of their fourth studio album, Blood For Blood, Hellyeah has elevated themselves into the upper echelon in the genre. The first two singles from the album – “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)” and “Moth” – have both taken Active Rock radio by storm, and “Hush” looks poised to do the same.
Generally speaking, this is the type of song that doesn’t get featured on Music Discovery Monday because it is already beyond the discovery stage. However, there is still a very important reason to give “Hush” as much exposure as possible because of the impact that it can have on people living in fear of domestic violence.
In a recent exclusive interview with Hard Rock Daddy, Chad Gray discusses the inspiration for “Hush” and the initiatives surrounding the song to help put an end to domestic violence…
“Inspiration for all of my music is some level of my life experience or the experience of someone that is really close to me. I felt like that story needed to be told. I have enough baggage, and sometimes it’s enough to unload it. You write songs from your life experience, but I know that it didn’t just happen to me. There are other people out there that are in the same situation.
I believe that music is therapeutic, cathartic and very, very powerful. I know that when I lived in that very isolated world that ‘Hush’ comes from, that helpless world, that music was all that I had to not make me feel as alone as I felt. You create this isolated world when you’re in that situation of abuse because, as uncomfortable as the isolation is, it beats what’s happening on the other side of the wall. It can be really lonely. Kind of the mantra of the song is to let people who are going through that situation right now, know that they’re not alone. I’ve been there too.
A lot of people don’t talk about it. They live in dysfunction and don’t know any better. They think that, by not speaking out, that they’re protecting the institution that is the family. Because there is a genuine love from the mother to the father or the son to the father, or whatever the situation is, family is always bigger than the one piece that sucks. People will endure because they don’t want to shake things up, but you really do need to talk about it, and let people around you know what’s going on so that there can be some sort of intervention. Maybe there can be some way for the abuser to step back and realize that there is another way to handle their problems, and work through them. That’s really what NO MORE is trying to do…raise awareness.
One of my things is to make people think twice before senseless violence happens. What do we have to do to raise awareness to get these people the help that they need psychologically, or what do we need to do to get those people that hit and abuse or mentally abuse people to stop and think twice about what they’re doing? For every action, there’s a reaction. What can we do to instill a step between the action and the reaction?
I feel that ‘Hush’ is very honest and empowering. I think that there’s a moment of realization that’s powerful…‘hell is where I was born, hell is where I was raised, this hell is where I’m from, and this hell is where I’ll stay.’
I’m not trying to throw anybody under the bus. This was a really dark time for a lot of people involved. I’m going to go on record and say that the person is a different person now (without saying any names). As we get older, we get wiser and we feel bad. It doesn’t change what happened, but it helped me to forgive. I think that forgiveness is huge because you have to really dig down deep inside of yourself to be able to truly forgive, and I have. But, I still carry the baggage, and I think that the story needed to be told.
I had no idea when I wrote this song that it would go to NO MORE and be put out there like it is now, so it’s exciting for me to be a part of it because it’s something that I’m passionate about. I lived in it, and I know how uncomfortable it is. The fact that NO MORE saw the honesty in the song and wanted to get behind it is overwhelming in a very awesome way.
We’ve been flooded with messages to our Facebook page thanking us for writing the song. People have shared chapters of their lives, really long, thought out stories behind their thank you letters. It will well you up, and I’m a pretty hard-ass motherfucker, but I’m also very emotional.
What we did as a band is bigger than just the words. The music compelled that; it brought it out in me to write the words. Tom (Maxwell) and Vinnie (Paul) and Kevin Churko (producer) did an amazing fuckin’ job of drawing all of that out of me. To see something that we did touch people in the way that it has really says a lot about music and how cathartic and therapeutic it can be to truly help people.”
MOTOR SISTER – “Fork In The Road”
Hard rock supergroups are all the rage in recent years, but it’s hard to think of one that has a backstory as cool as Motor Sister. Scott Ian (Anthrax) wanted one present more than any other for his 50th birthday – a reunion of Mother Superior (one of his favorite bands) with him in the lineup. Since Ian’s wife, Pearl Aday (Meat Loaf’s daughter), had been working on her solo career with Mother Superior frontman, Jim Wilson, things came together fairly easily. Joined by Joey Vera (Fates Warning / Armored Saint) and John Tempesta (White Zombie / The Cult), Ian’s dream gig of playing his favorite Mother Superior songs at his birthday party came to fruition. Industry veterans attending the party raved about the performance and the band loved the chemistry that they shared. With Metal Blade records on board, the members of Motor Sister got together in L.A. and recorded an entire album in two days. Wilson’s work with Mother Superior may have flown beneath the radar of most hard rock fans, but one listen to “Fork In The Road,” and it’s easy to see why Ian, Vera and Tempesta were such fans. Hopefully, Wilson will get his just due with Motor Sister.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
CRUEL INTENTIONS – “Borderline Crazy”
Some five years after leaving Vains of Jenna, frontman Lizzy DeVine reappears with a new band and an all Scandanavian lineup. The band may be new, but the 80s sleaze rock influences are still evident, albeit with a (dare I say?) more mature sounding DeVine delivering a song that walks the line between sounding raw and professionally polished.
VERIDIA – “Furious Love”
While best known in Christian rock circles, this Nashville-based four-piece could easily fit into both Active Rock and Mainstream hard rock formats. Vocalist, Deena Jakoub stands out quickly, bringing to mind comparisons with soaring female-fronted bands like Within Tempation, but with a more electronic, less symphonic influence. Only together as a unit since 2013, their sound is almost surprisingly polished, worthy of a band with more experience together.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
I’m in a Swedish state of mind this week, as all of my current and time machine picks hail from Sweden.
ENFORCER – “From Beyond”
Swedish band Enforcer has played a large role in the revival of early eighties speed metal. Most of their songs are straight-forward, all-out contributions to the genre, and are always well-executed. The title track, “From Beyond,” adds just a touch of nuance with a more plaintive guitar, all still buoyed by great riffs and a driving rhythm section.
BEARDFISH – “Ode To The Rock ‘n’ Roller”
Swedish band Beardfish plays progressive rock with heavy King Crimson and Genesis influences. “Ode to the Rock ‘N’ Roller” is one of the more accessible numbers from their latest album, offering up some complex, original writing as they lament the plight of bands that get trapped playing the same music, the same way, at every gig because that’s what their listeners demand, and that’s what pays the bills…“They didn’t come to listen, they came here to drink. So play those same three chords over and over, so they don’t have to think.” The music itself is a wonderful juxtaposition of their own creativity with the by-the-numbers renditions that they’re so sad to hear.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
APOCALYPTICA – “Cold Blood”
I just saw these guys open for Sixx: A.M. and they are truly impressive. Classically trained Finnish cellists, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso replace conventional guitar-work, but you’d only know it by sight when you listen to “Cold Blood” (from their new album, Shadowmaker). The song features the terrific lead vocals of Franky Perez and Mikko Siren keeping time on the skins. Check ’em out!
TIERRAMYSTICA – “Gate Of Gods”
More South American power metal, this time from Brazil. Billed as “Powerfolk Metal,” Tierramystica kicks ass on “Gates Of Gods” with a driving rhythm surrounding brief respites of Andean folk instruments. Tierramystica is a tight, talented band that has played with the Scorpions, Angra and Symphony X (among others).
HARD ROCK MUSIC TIME MACHINE
TYPE O NEGATIVE – “Christian Woman” (1993)
During the transitional period of the early 90s, where hair metal was being ushered out by grunge, a truly unique band emerged in the form of Type O Negative. From their critically acclaimed Bloody Kisses album, “Christian Woman” was one of the band’s most well-known songs because of the radio play that it received. While the radio edit gives you a taste of what made Type O Negative special, listening to the 9-minute album cut (click on link above) allows you to explore the layers of the band’s distinct, brooding, gothic sound. Unfortunately, frontman/bassist, Peter Steele, tragically passed away at the age of 48 from an aortic aneurysm. Realizing that it would be impossible to replace the imposing, creative, heart and soul of the band, Type O Negative disbanded after Steele’s death in 2010.
LIFE OF AGONY – “Through And Through” (1993)
It may appear as though I intentionally set the Hard Rock Music Time Machine to 1993 this week, but appearances can be deceiving. The dates are purely coincidental; however, Life Of Agony and Type O Negative were both chosen because of the distinct, instantly-recognizable vocals of each band. Life Of Agony is a powerful name for a metal band, and also an accurate description of the life of singer, Keith Caputo, whose appearance was arguably the most deceiving in the history of the genre. In 2011, Caputo changed his name to Mina, and began living a transgender life (although a full sex change has still not taken place). In a fascinating article (click here to read), Caputo discusses her personal background and the surprising musical direction that she intended to take. It’s no wonder that Caputo’s vocal style had such a visceral quality to it. “Through And Through” is a nice introduction to a band that was unique in more ways than one.
SILVER FROM THE FLAMES – “Memories” (2013)
One of the first songs strictly from the Christian rock genre that I ever specifically crossed over into my own Active Rock/hard rock weekly playlists purely on merit of “fit” rather than status as “hit.” I sort of lost track of them after that song faded. Little did I know that: (A) at the time that this was released, the oldest member of this sibling band was only 14-yrs old, (B) that they changed their name shortly afterwards to The Perfect Dream, and (C) that they recently announced plans to disband and move on to other projects. A tip of the hat to them here, along with wishes for success in whatever lies ahead.
GHOSTS OF AUGUST – “Disease” (2011)
Detroit-based quintet dented the charts with this song several years ago, but really weren’t able to follow up with a string of hits afterwards. Their sound is solid enough, with nothing really obvious missing. Perhaps their recently released new single, “Run + Hide,” will be the one that provides the breakthrough from the foundation laid by this track.
GRAND DESIGN – “Hello Mr. Heartache” (2009)
Grand Design is a five-piece band out of Sweden that delivers a huge, Pyromania-era Def Leppard sound. Layered guitars and vocals carry the day, with front man Pelle Saether demonstrating exceptional range as he hits some tricky notes.
ASTRAL DOORS – “Bastard Son” (2007)
Astral Doors produces pounding power metal out of Sweden. The riffs are heavy and there are some well-placed keyboards, with singer Nils Park Johansson soaring over it all with vocals reminiscent at times of Ronnie James Dio, and at other times of David Coverdale.
KIAUS – “The Visionary” (2010)
Kiaus was a skilled, power progressive metal band from Finland. “The Visionary” is a heavy, driving, dynamic piece with good vocals and melodic refrains. Unfortunately, the band officially announced their split in 2013.
JACKYL – “Push Comes To Shove” (1994)
One of my favorite tracks from Jesse James Dupree and company is this title track from their 1994 release. Simple, straight-forward, rockin’, and always gets you pumped. Over two decades old, and yet still timeless!
To be considered for Music Discovery Monday, please e-mail a link to the song being submitted on YouTube and an artist bio to…