You wanted the best? You got the best! The hottest blog in the world: THIS! Or not... but I suppose if KISS could get away with pumping themselves up to be the greatest band in the world by this slogan, maybe it'll work for me. After all, I am writing this wearing a disturbing amount of white makeup and holding about 68 blood capsules in my mouth.
I'll preface this post by noting that I don't normally plug the bands/musical projects of my friends and acquaintances. For one, there's a ridiculous amount of musical talent surrounding me daily, so it'd be impossible to adequately represent everyone, and words often won't do the musicians justice. Also, I don't want to be that guy; you know the dude who won't shut up about his friend's jam band and constantly tries to get you to "check them out" and drive out to the boonies to see them play at a house show. It feels like he's selling you something. I don't want to sell you anything. Except ginsu knives.
That being said, I'll be shamelessly plug two bands that I know this week. The reason I'm giving them specific mention though is not only because are they both highly capable bands with a ton of potential, but I'm also quite intrigued by their state of existence how these bands came to be says something significant about the current climate of being in a band during these technologically shifting times. But we'll touch on that in a bit.
For now, let me direct your attention to the two young, talented bands: Corelia and Art By Numbers.
Last Wednesday, my crewski made its way out to the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood to see these guys play a show, Corelia headlining and ABN supporting. My roommate manages both bands, and we've crossed paths many times with them. It was time to see some friendly familiar faces rock out at an iconic venue. And they did.
Drawing out an impressive crowd for a Wednesday night, the more devoted fans crammed near the edge of the stage, jumping around, moshing, and singing along to nearly every lyric.
But despite having such a passionate crowd, one fact made the event seem unreal; the show was actually Corelia's first live show (ever!), and Art By Number's third. I'm serious. That's not bad for a first show at all! My roommates and I were laughing at the fact that our respective bands' first shows were hilariously underwhelming by comparison, having taken place at American Legions and the equivalent to a middle school dance.
So how did two bands that have such little live experience end up playing a packed show at the Whisky as one of their first ever shows? Crazily enough, both these bands are relatively established. Both have tens of thousands of YouTube hits and Facebook fans. Art By Numbers has a full-length album and Corelia recently released an EP. Over the past few years they've managed to self-release music and cultivate a respectably sized fanbase all without touring or playing live an entirely new-school way to get a band off the ground.
First, a little info on the bands:
Corelia hails from great Whale's Vagina, the city of San Diego and is, in a nutshell, a progressive metal band that incorporates dense sonic layers and skillful musicianship. Featuring vocalist Ryan Devlin, guitarist Chris Dower, guitarist Ryan Borrell, drummer Clayton Pratt, and bassist Adrian Alpertstein, Corelia has managed to release an EP in 2011 called "Nostalgia" and become endorsed by companies such as Ernie Ball Music Man, Warwick and Toontrack. They've also displayed a knack for harnessing an effective online presence by incorporating musician-friendly content, like band-written song tab transcriptions and song playthroughs.
I first got to know Ryan Devlin on tour last year with The Human Abstract (he filled in a vacant vocalist slot) and came to recognize his vocal talent well. In a world where the majority of metal vocalists are so-so, this guy can really sing.
And in terms of their first live show ever they were pretty damn good. Clearly, they'll become more seasoned as they complete their first mini tour this week and grow as a live act. Great job, guys.
They are a musician's band with chops, and if you're looking for that rich, technical contemporary metal, may I suggest you head toward Corelia's website and take a peek.
Art By Numbers
The young Art By Numbers got started in Fresno, California in 2009 and have recently released a self-produced full-length album, "Reticence: The Musical".
Immediately, it's hard to not notice the similarities in vocal quality to The Mars Volta, as ABN's singer sounds a hell of a lot like Cedric Bixler-Zavala. But I'm not complaining. Close your eyes and you can imagine The Mars Volta, but in a smoother, more musically controlled fashion. While metal is certainly an element to Art By Number's sound (definitely some adept shredding going on), I find that their adventurous compositions and stylistic variety make for a unique listen that's unlike most metal bands.
But live though! Wow. For a band that only has played a few shows prior, they came off as confident in their abilities and fully capable of tightly executing a live set. Great musicianship, fantastic drummer, tightly locked guitar playing, sick vocals this is definitely a band to watch in the coming years.
All my shameless plugging aside though, what intrigues me the most is how these bands were able to begin establishing themselves before leaving the figurative bedroom. This day in age, it's feasible for a band to organize itself in a virtual world. With that virtual world at your fingertips, you can create your product, seek an audience, cultivate it, cause buzz, sell merch, sell records, gain endorsements, bring on managementall without playing a single show.
I'd love to open the floor and ask what you guys think of this reality is the idea of existing in the womb as bedroom band before you're birthed into the touring life a smart thing to do, or do you think the old school approach of releasing demos, playing small live shows, honing your skills through gigging, and building an audience through live interaction the way to go?
I'm skeptical as to whether or not that underdevelopment as a live act could be a detriment to the virtually established bands. But then again, if the tools are there and you can reach more people that way, why not build yourself, secure a fan base and already have the audience you want when you finally go out and play?
Obviously this couldn't have happened 10 years ago. Even a mere 5 years ago, the Internet climate was much different. I guess I'm just fascinated that more and more bands can operate initially as a virtual entity. Maybe I'm just astonished at how fast time flies and how rapidly technology and social media is inserting itself in our society as something we have to be dependent on. Hell, I'm totally dependent on it. And that's scary. And that's a whole other topic of discussion. Times are crazy maaaan.
On The Next It's The End Of The Week As We Know It:
Testament singer Chuck Billy, who recently recalled a story in which he visited an mystical Indian healer and subsequently defecated his cancer, also thanks the Del Taco he hate for breakfast that morning.
Outtakes from Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris's solo album surface and reveal that his initial solo album attempt was simply taking "The Number Of The Beast" and muting every instrument except his bass.
More leaked footage from the infamous Mitt Romney fundraiser video solidifies more voters against him; the left becomes further turned off after Romney admitted to being a passionate Nickelback fan, which says a lot about how he'd handle foreign policy.
By Zach Pino Twitter: @zachpino