Hard Rock Daddy presents Music Discovery Monday – 9/7/15.
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 Red Tide Rising frontman, Matthew Whiteman, who discusses the strange circumstances that has lead to confusion surrounding their song, “The Otherside.”
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
RED TIDE RISING – “The Otherside”
You may think that you’ve seen this song featured on Music Discovery Monday already. You may also think that this song is already too popular to be “discovered.” The confusion is understandable. Imagine how Red TIDE Rising felt when a band called Red SUN Rising starting gaining traction with a song called “The Otherside” almost a year after they released their version.
Other thEn the similar band names, and exact same song title (both deliberately combining the words “other” and “side”), the songs bear absolutely no resemblance to each other. This version, from Denver modern rockers Red Tide Rising, deserves attention on its own merit. In fact, if this song did get played on Active Rock radio, it would stand out as something totally different.
Matthew Whiteman shows nice vocal range on “The Otherside,” seamlessly vacillating between dark, haunting verses and majestic, emotive choruses. Like Whiteman, the rest of the band – which features his brother, Andrew, on guitars – delivers a dynamic performance, dialing up the intensity at times, and pulling back at other times to allow the vocals to shine.
If there is a silver lining to be found in having another band with a similar name having success with a song that has the same unique title, it is the added exposure that the band deserves anyway.
In a Hard Rock Daddy exclusive, Red Tide Rising frontman Matthew Whiteman shares the inspiration for “The Otherside,” the impact of a band with a similar name having a popular song with the exact same title, and how the band plans to showcase what makes them unique as they move forward…
What inspired “The Otherside,” and what is the meaning behind it?
“The Otherside” was inspired by the movie Inception. It plays off of the whole idea of different realities and duality. I like writing psychological songs, and “The Otherside” just happened to fit in that theme.
What is the significance of spelling the title as one word rather than two?
Playing off of the duality again, we just wanted the song title to have only two words to represent the two sides.
When did you discover Red Sun Rising’s song with the same title, and what was your reaction when you heard it?
We discovered it when radio started picking it up across the Denver region, maybe a few months ago, I can’t remember when exactly. I didn’t really know how to react to it. Part of me was irritated that they have a song that’s the same title, and their band name is close to ours. People in our home town started congratulating us for getting on the radio, and it started a lot of confusion. At the same time, it was helpful because part of their fanbase was finding us when they searched for the song. Really, when you break it down, it’s sort of like our song – two sides coexisting as one. The theme keeps finding its way into my life.
What has it been like for you and the band since the Red Sun Rising version became popular?
Well, we’ve become very busy with our next recording project, and we intend to make our band stand out in the near future. Our focus is to change a lot of the image. The songs are more intense, kind of breaking out of mainstream rock and leaning more towards a metal direction. We want to create an identity that no one will confuse with any other band. It hasn’t been easy because their song and band is in the spotlight now, and we’ve had people accuse us of being a knockoff. And although it is a bit annoying, it’s kind of funny at the same time. What can ya do, right? And hey, our version of “The Otherside” has been out for close to a full year before theirs hit everyone’s radar (laughs).
What are your thoughts about the Red Sun Rising song, which is very different than yours (aside from the title and similar band name)?
Overall, it’s a whole lot better than most of what is played on the radio these days. I like the Alice In Chains feel to it, and the melodies are catchy. It’s a good song.
MARILYN MANSON – “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles”
Originally the title track of Marilyn Mason’s most recent release, The Pale Emporer, “The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles” is a song that Mason has referred to as “the album’s heart.”
“The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles” is as much a short film as it is a song. It is highly recommended that you watch the video for this track to appreciate everything that it has to offer. Given Manson’s affinity for acting, it stands to reason that he would marry the two art forms so well. This particular track would have been an ideal fit for Sons Of Anarchy, the highly-acclaimed TV series that featured Manson as a white supremacist leader in prison during the seventh (and final) season.
If you are a fan of Manson’s unique style, you’ll wonder why this song hasn’t received as much attention at radio as the lead single, “Deep Six.” Although the verses are more about creating a vibe with a more sparse arrangement that gives the song room to breathe, and Manson the opportunity to paint a mental picture with the lyrics, the song features a powerful chorus with a big hook. Manson brings the Faust legend from German folklore to life with his interpretation in this song about making a deal with the devil.
JON LOVELESS – HRD Music Scout
ANOTHER PERFECT STORM – “Covet”
It’s not necessarily surprising that Ben Draiman has a good bit of talent, as his more-famous brother, David, kind of tipped us off to the possibility that talent might run in the family. What could be more of a surprise is just how quickly you forget the family connection and start digging the work here solely on its own merit. Along with creative partner Raz Klinghoffer (guitars/production), Draiman has come up with one of the catchier Active Rock songs that I’ve heard this year.
PILLAR – “Nails”
The steady stream of quality rock from the Christian genre continues to flow with the latest from these veterans. “Nails” is a song with crossover potential that is definitely worthy of Mainstream Rock airplay.
ROB DELL’AQUILA – HRD Music Scout
NITEHAWKS – “Into The Wild”
Italian newcomers Nitehawks formed earlier this year and are already set to release their debut album, Vendetta, at the end of this month. They play old school metal with influences of power and speed metal. Heavy stuff, well executed. They begin a European tour in October.
GRONHOLM – “Strangers”
Guitarist Mika Gronholm has released his third album, Relativity Code For Love, with new lead singer Lee Smalls (current lead singer of Shy). It’s melodic rock with some progressive moments, and plenty of hooks and sweeping choruses.
CHRIS HERZEGOVITCH – HRD Music Scout
PRETTY MAIDS – “Nuclear Boomerang”
Pretty Maids are a Danish hard rock/heavy metal band from Horsens, Denmark formed way back in 1981. “Nuclear Boomerang” is a new track from 2014’s album of remixes and unreleased material – Louder Than Ever. Standard apocalypse lyrics (as you might expect from the song name), but it’s rather melodic, wrapped within heavy, dynamic, driving, Scandanavian power metal.
FREEDOM CALL – “Come On Home”
From the circle of Helloween and Gamma Ray, comes Germany’s Freedom Call, which was formed back in 1998 by Dan Zimmermann (departed, drums – Gamma Ray) and Chris Bay (current, vocals). This excellent, feel-good track is all about a good time with its light-hearted lyrics, bright (yet heavy) rhythm, and a chorus that you can imagine any crowd singing in unison at the top of their lungs. From their 2014 release Beyond, “Come On Home” features standout vocals and guitars.
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
H.I.M. – “Wings Of A Butterfly” (2005)
In their native Finland, H.I.M. has enjoyed a successful career. They are currently working on their ninth studio album, slated for a 2016 release. Their success in their homeland, however, has not translated to the U.S., with only one album (Dark Light) making a significant impact and achieving gold status. Diminishing record sales overall, particularly in hard rock, make it difficult for any artist to achieve meaningful sales, but many still get attention at radio. However, aside from “Wings Of A Butterfly” and a very cool cover of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” the band is rarely heard on American radio. H.I.M. can’t be easily categorized by genre, which has undoubtedly added to the challenge of getting noticed. Frontman, Ville Valo refers to the band’s sound as “love metal,” which ties in to their unique symbol, the “heartagram.” The talented singer (and multi-instrumentalist) cites influences that range from Black Sabbath to Depeche Mode. H.I.M. doesn’t adhere to any rules with their sound. Their uniqueness is a blessing for fans, but can be a curse when it comes to radio. Regardless of how H.I.M. is categorized, “Wings Of A Butterfly” is a great hard rock song with a cool vibe that serves as a nice introduction to an underrated band.
APOCALYPTICA (f. BRENT SMITH) – “Not Strong Enough” (2010)
Like fellow Finns, H.I.M., Apocalyptica has been around for quite some time. The evolution of this band has taken many years. Their current sound is a long way from their early days as a group of cellists playing Metallica covers. It wasn’t until their fifth studio album that they had any songs with vocals (H.I.M.’s Ville Valo sang on “Bittersweet,” and there were a few other vocalists featured, but the album was still mostly instrumental).
The band’s 2007 release, Worlds Collide, featured a number of guest vocalists, a trend that was continued on their 2010 release, 7th Symphony. 2010’s “Not Strong Enough” features the outstanding vocals of Shinedown’s Brent Smith, at least outside of the U.S. The song was re-recorded for the U.S. release with Doug Robb (Hoobastank) after the band was unable to secure the rights to release the song with Smith’s vocals from Shinedown’s label – Atlantic Records. With all due respect to Robb, Smith’s version is the one that I am still drawn to five years later.
With music being subjective, it’s hard to say that any song is “perfect,” but the combination of Smith and Apocalyptica is as close to perfect as you can come. The sound that is created with three cellists and a drummer (for the most part) makes this standout track even more unique. The cellists of Apocalyptica (Perttu Kivilaakso, Paavo Lötjönen and Eicca Toppinen) masterfully blend beauty and power as they lay down a foundation for Smith to deliver his unique, impassioned, poetic vocals in this song about a battle between the heart and the mind.
MAYLENE & THE SONS OF DISASTER – “Tough As John Jacobs” (2005)
Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of “knowing” a band more by reputation than by actually being familiar with their work. That was the case for me with this southern metal band from Alabama. I knew the name, but really hadn’t spent enough time with their music. That was a mistake on my part. Over the course of more than a decade, they’ve cranked out a number of songs that every hard rocker should know, including this track from their debut album.
WITHIN REASON – “Favorite Sin” (2006)
Their current rock radio hit, “Here Comes The Light,” is likely the introduction for many fans, but this Alabama-based band is not exactly the newcomers that some might suspect. In fact, their recent airplay really isn’t their first brush with national fame. This song was featured in a fourth season episode of the WB/CW network prime time show, One Tree Hill, with the band performing at the character’s prom.
DARK MOOR – “Faustus” (2009)
Spanish band Dark Moor delivers power metal with symphonic and classical influences. Here, on their 2009 album, Autumnal, they built walls of sound with layers of orchestration and vocal harmonies, yet always managed to return to memorable riffs.
WETTON DOWNES – “Let Me Go” (2005)
Before ‘80s supergroup ASIA reunited, this combination of two key members was the closest that fans could come to their trademark sound. John Wetton’s vocals soar against the mesmerizing keyboards of Geoffrey Downes in a collaboration that produced many worthy tunes. They had released an earlier album in 2001, which consisted of demos from the ‘80s. 2005’s Icon marked their first new material together.
DREAM THEATER – “Metropolis, Pt. 1: The Miracle And The Sleeper” (1992)
Prog metal masters Dream Theater need no introduction. Just let this epic track from 1992’s Images & Words play, and enjoy it as it takes you far and wide across the progressive spectrum. This was James Labrie’s first album with the band, which won critical acclaim and achieved gold record status.
THE MAGNIFICENT – “Tired Of Dreaming” (2011)
“Tired Of Dreaming” is a forlorn, yet upbeat, track about the one that got away. From the The Magnificent’s eponymous third studio album, this great melodic metal song features the vocals of Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus) and Torsti Spoof (Leverage) on lead guitar.