Converge UPDATE!

Converge has announced on their website tour dates for their headlining tour with Drop Dead, Trap Them, and Burning Love

5/20 Baltimore, MD @ Otto Bar (No Drop Dead)
5/21 Philadelphia, PA @ Broad Street Ministry 
5/22 Boston, MA @ The Middle East
5/23 Burlington, VT @ The Annex (No Drop Dead)
5/24 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizons (No Drop Dead)
5/25 New York City, NY @ Santo’s Party House (No Drop Dead)
5/26 TBA @ TBA
5/27 Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St. (No Drop Dead)
5/28 Toledo, OH @ Frankies (No Drop Dead)
5/29 Braddock, PA @ Unsmoke System (No Drop Dead)
5/30 Chicago, IL @ Reggies (No Drop Dead)
5/31 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar (No Drop Dead)
6/2 Austin, TX @ Chaos In Tejas (No Drop Dead)
6/3 Little Rock, AR @ Downtown Music Hall (No Drop Dead)
6/4 Nashville, TN @ Muse (No Drop Dead)
6/5 Raleigh, NC @ The Brewery (No Drop Dead)

They are also playing a bunch of European Festivals that include Greenfield Festival, Hurricane Festival,and Best Friend Festival.

Converge and Drop Dead will be releasing a split 7” that you can buy on this tour. Converge is editing a DVD and has demoed out their newest full-length but have no specific release date. 
 

Interview With Abel

I interviewed Kevin Kneifel, Abel’s Singer/Guitarist (Far Right)

EIA: Tell us how Abel came to be?

Kevin: Abel happened very slowly in the beginning. Alex and I were both in a band that broke up in late 2008. That band toured around a lot, and I think we were ready to go in separate directions musically when it ended. Alex started a pop-rock band with some friends, and I tried playing with a few different people before giving John a call to ask him if he wanted to jam on a few songs I had been writing. By then, Alex was playing bass in his new band and came by our first practice to help write. Everything sort of snowballed from there.

I talked to Dan about starting something around that same time, so when we were looking for someone to take up the second guitar spot after we released The Honest Love, he was the first guy I called. And that’s how we came to be.


EIA: 
What was the chief motivation behind your music? 

Kevin: 
I caught The Glorious Unseen at Cornerstone in 2008, and the experience really floored me—so, it was my full intention to do something in that vein. When Abel started, it was really just three dudes playing in secret with the intention of making music that honored God and had Christ at the center. That’s something that hasn’t changed.


EIA: 
What are your major influences in the writing process?

Kevin: 
Each other. Our relationships with each other and our loved ones has probably played the biggest role in writing and growing as a band. The song Come Ye Weary is about leaving our families behind to tell the world about Christ, and The Honest Love is about my relationship with my fiancé through the lens of God’s love for us. Musically, we’ve always had the goal of creating something with a lot of soul.


EIA: 
You have put out an EP on the now defunct Dreamt Music (Facedown Records indie label), and you just released “Lesser Man” on Come and Live, what made you go with Come and Live?

Kevin: 
Being on Dreamt Music was the fulfillment of a lot of pipe dreams about being signed and touring around the country and personal goals about what it means to be a “real” band. But it also quickly revealed how petty and dumb a lot of those things really are. The team at Facedown loves God, and that’s what the label is all about—but I don’t think our hearts were 100% there yet. We were still too excited about “making something” of ourselves.

Joining Come&Live! was a really good thing in that it was a big step in getting our heads on straight and our feet firmly planted on what is most important—loving Christ and loving others. Facedown sort-of started the process, and once we began touring with bands like The Ember Days, and talking to Chad Johnson, it became clear that Come&Live! was the right place for us. We’ve spent the last half a year really refining that focus since becoming at part of the C&L! family.


EIA: 
Do you think that free music is the wave of the future in terms of music distribution?

Kevin: 
I don’t really know. I’ve answered this question a lot, and I feel like it’s too early to tell. Our manager called me the other day to tell me that Lesser Men has been downloaded over 10,000 times, and I was so excited that I couldn’t really wrap my head around it—but I’m not sure how those downloads are translating into a “new way” of music distribution. To be perfectly candid, giving our album away for free is a sacrifice. We’re still in a system where records equal money, and I don’t imagine any band could survive giving it all away for free if it wasn’t for the amazing generosity and support we get from our friends, family, and fans to help us keep doing this.


EIA: What are some bands or albums that have effected you personally?

Kevin: 
I can’t speak for everyone else in this department, but for me it’s been Thrice more than any other band. I think we’re all hoping that one day we can write music that inspires and reaches as many people as they have.


EIA: 
On the road, how do you stay grounded spiritually? As a Christian band, There must be temptations and opportunities that arise, so what do you think is the most helpful thing to stay humble?

Kevin: 
Sometimes we don’t. At least interpersonally, it’s easy to really get down on one another when you live in such close proximity. Our relationship with Christ does inject one undeniable factor into keeping our band strong, however—and that factor is forgiveness. Without the forgiveness that each member of this band has shown one another over the last two years, I don’t think we’d still be going as strong as we are. We also surround ourselves with Christ focused people that help encourage us and keep us going in the right direction.


EIA: 
What is up next for Abel in the coming months?

Kevin: 
We have been writing new music since the beginning of January and we’re all eager to get back on the road to play some new songs this summer and possibly record in the fall. We haven’t had the privilege of “taking our time” with writing and recording since before The Honest Love came out, and we want to make sure we do it right this time. We’re also ready to start getting people more involved in the missions we care about, which means we are planning to be a lot more vocal on Tumblr and Facebook in the upcoming months about what is on our hearts and how people can help.

Check out Abel HERE
Download their album “Lesser Man” for free HERE
"Like" Us on Facebook
Follow Us on Twitter 

Life In Your Way Has RETURNED!

Life in your way has reunited and set up a kickstarter, so you can support them while they make their new record, Kingdoms. The process has been completely funded, but they are giving out special prizes for those who give more.

They will be releasing a concept record as 3 EP’s (The Kingdom of Man, The Kingdom of Darkness, The Kingdom of God). Here is the high-resolution artwork:

They have also just released that if they reach 250% of their goal, they will release 4 acoustic versions of songs off their last full length record, Waking Giants, to their backers. The list of songs they are choosing from are:

- We Don’t Believe
- Making Waves
- Salty Grave
- Reach The End
- Beneath it All
- Judas

Remember you can pledge to their project, here. They will be releasing the record this summer for free on Come And Live.  

Interview With Come and Live founder, Chad Johnson

EIA: Thanks Chad for doing this. For those who don’t know, state tell us a little bit about Come and Live and what you do there.

CJ: Come&Live! is a non-profit ministry that exists to establish the kingdom of God via a community of musicians. We help artists keep Jesus as their focus and treasure, all the while doing everything we can to challenge a generation to pursue the Love of God. I’m the Founder/Director guy.

EIA: Where did this idea come about?

CJ: I felt the Lord gave me the idea to go about raising up disciples of Jesus who were truly committed to making their lives the best representation of the Gospel as possible. Where music and profits would be distributed as gifts around the world, simply because God loves the world and they need to hear that!

EIA: Tell us about your trip to New Zealand and what you did over there?

CJ: It was an incredible time. We’ll have a DVD out on April 5th that goes into detail of the trip. It was really amazing to see all the opportunities that God gave us. He was so good. We played churches, clubs and festivals. We were able to pray for, encourage, love, support and equip a ton of God’s kids. It ruled!

EIA: What types of other ministry projects are C&L involved in?

CJ: We support quite a few other non-profits and partner with them to spread the Gospel and to help spread the word on what they do and who they are. We attend festivals and will be launching Come&Live! Tours this year - all ways where we can get in front of this generation and model God’s love for them.

EIA: What are some upcoming projects for C&L?

CJ: A missions trip to Colombia, South America at the end of April and a Full US Summer C&L! Tour!

EIA: You just recently signed recently reunited hardcore act, Life In Your Way, how did that come about?

CJ: Through conversation with the guys in the band it became obvious that they were ready to get back and go after the band again. We talked about what it might look like and the Lord gave them a peace about it. They’re some really sweet guys that we deeply love. They’re inspiring and I can’t wait to hear what they do next.

EIA: Come and Live is known for its atypical form of distribution.  Do you think free music or music for donation is the way of the future in terms of music distribution? And if not, what is the future?

CJ: I honestly don’t know what the future holds in terms of distribution. I do believe that music delivered as a gift allows us to reach far more people with the generosity of the Gospel but I’m not sure that most conventional labels would consider the model due to how little revenue is made.

EIA: Today, a lot of bands would call themselves “Christian” bands, while a lot of others are striving as hard as they can to get rid of the tag of “Christian”, as to just focus on the music. Can you talk a little bit about spirituality and the music industry?

CJ: My perspective is that if we keep our eyes on the cross, we’ll be fine. Anytime we take our eyes off Jesus things start getting blurry and messy. Jesus is worthy of being treasured and followed with all of who we are.

EIA: Thanks so much. Anything else you’d like to add about Come and Live?

CJ: Thanks for the opportunity! Let’s live simply to give generously. The world needs to see (not just hear about) the love that God has for them.

Vanna’s Van Stolen/T-shirt

Vanna is currently recording at Glow in the Dark Studios with Matt Goldman (The Chariot, Underoath). And while they were recording, their trailer was stolen. Here is a press release from the band:

At approx 0900 hours it was discovered that the trailer belonging to the band VANNA was missing from the parking lot where they were recording their upcoming album, ‘AND THEY CAME BARING BONES’. Upon further investigation, it seems evident that the trailer was completely cut from its lock and tow system. Contents include, guitar cabs, bass cabs, drums, and an extensive amount of merchandise created for tour.

The band is working hard to try and replace the trailer and its contents and get back out on the road. In light of the situation, we’ve created a special tee shirt to raise funds and commemorate the lost of a loved one…our trailer.

“If it wasn’t bad enough that we weren’t eating well while recording, having our gear and our trailer stolen while recording the record was icing on-the-nonexistent-cake,” laments vocalist Davey Muise. “We are very bummed out, but did not let it affect the way we recorded the album. We created this special shirt in hopes that we can raise enough to get a new trailer. We are hoping people will help by buying the shirt.”

Here is the T-shirt to help them raise funds for new gear/merch. They Came Bearing Bones will be out later this year on Artery Recordings. 

Interview with Lions Lions

I interviewed guitarist, Brandon Davis, who used to play guitar for Therefore I Am and drums for Vanna.

EIA: Thanks so much for doing this. You guys just released your second EP, and follow up to From What We Believe. How did the writing process differ with a new singer?

BD: The writing process didn’t really change much. When Josh got added to the equation he adapted  very well. Everything went really smoothly because he was such a perfect fit for us.

EIA: Most bands seem to have an awkward transistion when changing to a new singer, but this EP has proven the opposite, has your fan base been as accepting?

BD: Lucky for us, we haven’t been a band for to long (about 3 years now) and due to that not very many people outside of New England really even knew who we were when Danny left. in fact, a lot of people think its been the same singer the entire time.The  people that do know us have been very supportive and accepted Josh with open arms.

EIA: This EP seems to have tweeked the Lions Lions sound a little bit, what were the influences going into the writing process? 

BD: On the tours we were doing before we recorded that record we were listening to a lot of

different music, bands like, Story of the year,Comeback kid,Stick To Your Guns,Enter Shikari and lots of other music. i think a lot of the record’s sound was influenced by what we were listening to at the time.

EIA: Coming from your old bands (Therefore I Am, Vanna), what were somethings you wanted to accomplish with this band that you couldn’t with the others?

BD: Id say my biggest goal is to get to the point where the band is a full time job that can support my life with no help from any normal 9-5 type job. i wasn’t able to do that in my previous  bands but I am hoping that is something I can do with Lions Lions.

EIA: You just got off doing a small stint with We Came As Romans, how was that? What are some of your favorite tour stories from the past few years?

BD: Touring with We Came As Romans was amazing. its the biggest tour our band has ever done. all of the venues were 700-1100 cap and most of them were sold out. we made friends with all of the bands on the tour (WCAR, For Today,The Word Alive,Woe Is Me, and Texas In July). it was a great experience for us and we really hope to be getting tours of that caliber more often.

EIA: I saw you guys a few months back in Manchester, NH. I was happy to see a band that knew how to put on A SHOW. Who are your inspirations behind your energetic live shows?

BD: Back in like early 2004 when I was playing in Therefore I Am we played a show with the original  As Cities Burn line up and The Chariot. both As Cities Burn & The Chariot put on the best live performances i had ever seen. basically from that day i was inspired to put everything i have into my live performance with every band I lay in. Also The live shows of bands like At The Drive in, Refused and Story of the Year heavily influenced the way i think a live show should be.

EIA: What is up next for Lions Lions in 2011?

BD: We are touring with shai hulud in may, other tours are in the works as well. we are also writing a new full length and it will be our first full length with Josh so we are very excited for that.

EIA: Thanks so much!

You can check out lions lions HERE

They just released a new EP called The Path We Take, and you can buy it HERE

Interview with CT rapper, JUS

EIA: Thanks so much for doing this, you just released your first video for your track “Let’s Get It”, what was the experience like?

Jus: Absolutely my man, thank you for the opportunity. I’ve been releasing music as a hip-hop artist for a little over two years now but sort of lacked that visual tool to help people see what I’m doing and what I’m trying to accomplish. “Let’s Get It” was a perfect track to film my first video for because it’s really telling what I’m about… real hip-hop, real lyrics, no gimmick type rap music. In the video, I’m doing what I do on an ordinary day: chillen, smoking and vibing with friends. It’s just me living life, and that’s what I hoped to show people.

EIA: Will we see anymore videos this year?

Jus: Absolutely. I hope to put out about 3 or 4 videos for tracks off this new tape and will also be featured in a bunch of my fellow artists videos as well. Keep updated @ http://www.youtube.com/justhewop.

EIA: What is your plan for 2011? You already put an album out last year, but what would be your main focus this year?

Jus: I put out “Dwell In Possibility” in June of 2010, and that was a great stepping stone. I’m currently writing and recording my 2nd official tape “Supply & Demand” which will really tell my tale as a 21 year old hungry kid from the shoreline of Connecticut. I’m also playing a bunch of shows and hopefully doing a little tour this summer or possibly even fall. Anything to build a buzz and help people see I want to keep real hip-hop alive.

EIA: Where did the ambition to try out hip hop come from?

Jus: I’ve always loved hip-hop, man. Like, I eat sleep and breathe this stuff. I can recall hearing P.M. Dawn and A Tribe Called Quest records as a toddler! I used to sneak into my parents room and watch “Yo! MTV Raps” when I was like 6 or 7, no lie. I was always a strange little kid who was intrigued by urban culture. I’ve been writing lyrics since I was around 9 or 10 and recorded my first “track” at age 11 in my buddies’ bedroom over a Dr. Dre beat. It’s funny because I still remember my verse from that song, haha. I fronted a bunch of hardcore bands in high school, but always had this urge to try hip-hop out as well. I was constantly freestyling and spittin’ for friends at parties and what not… and they really gave me the confidence to pursue this rap thing for real. The rest is history, I suppose.

EIA: Who are your main influences?

Jus: I love Nas man, he’s probably my favorite emcee along with Big L… they really go hand in hand for me. I also really really enjoy AZ, Big Pun, Children of the Corn, Common, Jadakiss, Styles P, Murda Mase, Eminem (early), Cage (early), Jeru The Damaja, Jay-Z (early) Wu-Tang Clan, Rakim Allah, Biggie, Cassidy, Papoose, there’s so many man. I love true lyricists and emcees who tell a great story. As far as producers, I love DJ Premier, of course, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Easy Mo Bee, all that golden age stuff!

EIA: I loved that you were wearing an American Nightmare hoodie in your new video. What other hardcore bands are you into?

Jus: Yeah, man. Hardcore is pretty much my second love. 7 Angels 7 Plagues is like my favorite band of all time. I really dig Misery Signals, Shai Hulud, Tunes For Bears To Dance To, I Have Dreams, You & I, American Nightmare, Creation Is Crucifixion, Beloved, Norma Jean (early), The Chariot, there’s a bunch of these bands I like a lot too.
 
EIA: If we were to look at your “Recently Played” on your itunes, what would we see?

Jus: Haha, lemme check… I’ve got Chris Brown, Panic! At the Disco, Raekwon, Drake, Coheed & Cambria, J Cole, Mac Miller, and Fashawn on there as of this week so far. I’m a pretty eclectic kind of guy.

EIA: How have your first shows been?

Jus: The shows have been dope, man. It’s crazy because I play live with my band “Jus & Company” and kids are going SICK during our set. Dancin, reciting my verses, really just vibing with my music. It’s been so much fun, I can’t wait to tour and hopefully eventually do this year round.

EIA: If you could share the stage with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

Jus: Hmmm… these are great questions my boy, haha. This is tough…. But I’d probably have to go with Big L man. He was murdered 12 years ago and his verses just send shivers down my spine. He was so gifted, I’d love to bring him back and pay homage to one of the greatest of all time.

EIA: Thanks a lot man!

You can download Jus’ first full-length Dwell In Possibility and other tracks he’s released for free HERE