Festival Talk 2: The Updates – Featuring: Download, Slam Dunk, Reading and Hevy

The last few days have seen several festivals try to lure in more people with new big announcements, including a massive one from Reading, so lets start off with that

READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS

28th – 30th August

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Since the last time I spoke about the Reading and Leeds Festivals there has been an incredibly large amount of bands added to the bill,  The Libertines (headliner),Bring Me The Horizon (European festival exclusive), All Time Low, Limp Bizkit, Frank Turner (solo), Mastodon,Panic! At The Disco, New Found Glory, Ghost, Gojira, Marmozets, Frnkiero Andthe Cellabration, Bury Tomorrow, Cancer Bats, Neck Deep, Simple Plan, The Menzingers, While She Sleeps, Lonely The Brave, We Are The Ocean, Slaves, Modern Life Is War, American Football, Circa WavesRadkey A$AP Ferg, Alvvays, AshAzealia Banks, Ben Kahn, Boy Better Know, Brodinski, Camo & Krooked, Cardiknox, Coasts, Craze, Darlia, Dillon Francis, Django Django, DMA’s,Everything Everything, Flatbush Zombies, FTSE, Glass Animals, Gorgon City, Hudson Mohawke, Jake Isaac,Jamie XX, Kendrick Lamar, Knife Party, Krept & Konan, Lethal Bizzle, Little May, My Nu Leng, Nick Brewer,Oneman, Peace, Pell, Porter Robinson, Rae Sremmurd, Rat Boy, Ratking, San FerminStormzy, Swim Deep,The Bulletproof Bomb, The Districts, The Maccabees, The Wombats, Toyboy & Robin, Tourist, Tyler, The Creator and Walking On Cars.

Huge name like The Libertines are the last act confirmed to be headlining, what a comeback for them! I can’t say I’m a fan but I definitely know there is a bit of a buzz around this announcement. Who else? Festival regulars Bring Me The Horizon and All Time Low once again added to the mainstage, always bands that will bring in a crowd and I give it a few years until either headlines. Same goes for Panic! At the Disco who also recently got added to the mainstage. I’m honestly surprised that Neck Deep and Pierce The Veil are on the mainstage, I didn’t realise either of them were that big. Then on the other hand you have Limp Bizkit and New Found Glory on the lower stages when they should be on the mainstage, Especially with the performance Limp Bizkit gave on the mainstage in 2010. NFG are headlining the Lock Up stage by the looks of things, and what the fuck is that about? the Lock Up stage used to be 2 days not 1. Sorry but “The Pit” just doesn’t seem the same. what used to be mostly punk and hardcore has been dominate by rock, metal and metalcore. Mastodon headlining this stage is an insult, they should also be mainstage. Bury Tomorrow, Cancer Bats, frnkiero and the cellabration, Ghost, Gojira, Modern Life is War, Simple Plan, The Menzingers and While She sleeps were all added to The Pit/Lock Up stage with no real surprise other than Sleeps and Bury Tomorrow have also played mainstage before and deserve a bigger crowd if they aren’t headlining these stages. Ash, making an appearance on the festival republic stage, where the fuck have they been for the last few years? Christ they haven’t been relevant for about 10 years haha. Other notable names like Tyler, The Creator, Peace, Azealia Banks, The Maccabees and The Cribs also all added over various stages with a lot more to come, including a special main stage guest to be announce, Reading/Leeds has really started to heat up and attract a lot of attention

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL

12th-14th June

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Download recently added a stonking 38 bands to their pretty strong list already.  Aaron Keylock, Allusondrugs, American Fangs, Apocalyptica,Beartooth, Blackberry Smoke, Butcher Babies, Code Orange, Counterparts, Crobot,Dead Daises, Decade, Dolomite Minor, Emp!re, Ghost Town, God Damn, Hey Hello, Hyena, Iconic Eye, In Hearts Wake, Insomnium, Love Zombies, Modestep, New Years Day, The One Hundred, The Pink Slips, Pop Evil, Purson, ROAM, Rival State, Sirens In The Delta, The Sword, andTrash Boat.

Cavalera Conspiracy (or any Max Cavalera project of some sort), Fightstar, Heart of a Coward, Sylosis are all pretty much Download regulars now, that it is kind of expected to see them once ever other year or so. I would have prefered Max’s new project Killer Be Killed to play though. A have been added, again like Ash at Reading/Leeds, where the fuck have A been over the years? its no 2001 anymore. Apocalyptica,Beartooth, Butcher Babies, Code Orange, Counterparts,  DecadeIn Hearts Wake, Insomnium, Love Zombies, Modestep,  The One Hundred, ROAM,  The Sword, andTrash Boat are all rather notable names as fairly established or upcoming bands with some buzz. ROAM are a fairly local band to me so I’m really proud of the fact they have made it on the download lineup. From this lineup I already see some annoying clashes that make me glad that I’m not going, though the Saturday Mainstage does look incredible. Maybe I’m getting old but there are a lot of new names on this bill that I have never heard of, where did all these bands come from? As a whole even with the new additions Download does look great for the average alternative music fan, but not for me.

SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL

Leeds – 23rd May

Hatfield – 24th May

Wolverhampton – 25th May

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Slam Dunk joined the big boys in making another announcement adding another 17 bands to their bill :Don Broco, Beartooth  PVRIS, While She Sleeps, The Color Morale, The Bronx, Mariachi El Bronx, Trash Talk, Zebrahead, Patent Pending, Lightyear, Big D & The Kids Table, Transit, Such Gold, A Loss For Words, Emmure and Thy Art Is Murder.

I called it with Big D & The Kids Table in my last post, it was way too predictable but I’m glad they got added, it just makes so much sense. But hell yeah to While She Sleeps and Trash Talk, though I expect Sleeps will clash with Reel Big Fish as stage headliners sadly. Bruisers like Emmure and Thy Art Is Murder are not surprises to me, in fact the only surprise to me is The Bronx/Mariachi El Bronx double addition, that should be interesting to see. Apparently Don Broco are the name that makes the headlines for this announcement in Kerrang! I personally don’t see the appeal but a lot of people do so as far as Slam Dunk is concerned it’s a great addition. Zebrahead are back for 2nd year running, clearly they were good enough last year to ask to come back, certainly another band that certainly brings a lot of buzz to the occasion. Not many additions to the “nostalgic” punk stage has disappointed me a little but that hardcore stage is certainly starting to look amazing.

HEVY FEST

August 14 – 15

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I sadly don’t have positive opinions over the addictions of Thrice, Coheed and Cambria (performing In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 in full) The Get Up Kids (playing Something To Write Home About in full), Touché Amoré, Hacktivist, Black Tusk, Baby Godzilla, Continents, Creeper, Fort Hope, Fathoms, The Colour Line and Wraiths.

This is all personal opinion that barely any of this excites me, but I did see a lot of positive responses on facebook about Thrice and Coheed and Cambria, so clearly Hevy did do something right. Apart from Touché Amoré and Continents I’m just a bit meh about the whole thing. I never understood the buzz around The Get Up Kids, Fathoms or Baby Godzilla, and who the fuck are the rest? really Hevy you got a lot of work to impress me enough to go now, maybe it’s a good thing because I don’t think I can afford this to go haha

Gripe At Needless Propaganda Articles

Today I have read 2 articles in music related news that I personally don’t think anyone would have even cared about before the articles were posted. Both of them seem to attempt to spark a negative view on a certain party and I can’t think of more pointless articles to post up, maybe this blog post is but I’m just ranting here.

The first being from CMU Daily about how the Slipknot masks are a gimmick even though the band claim they aren’t….first off, you are about 16 years too late on this article, just claims have been made before, giving the band publicity based on their appearance more than their music. This writer really needs to look into the history of the band before writing an article about them and trying to take this piss. Every fan of the band knows that it is not “just a gimmick” and it is something more, it’s about the personality of the band. Originally about the anonymity, being faceless musicians using numbers as an identity instead of names. Silly article that attempts to ridicule a band for no real reason.

The other was another silly article by Metal Injection stating that Wayne Static of Static-X and Oderus Urungus of Gwar were not in the GRAMMY’s memoriam segment. I’m sorry but who really cares? if someone hadn’t told me I certainly wouldn’t notice. The article gives a negative point of view stating that the GRAMMY’s don’t give a crap about metal, especially since doing the same with Slayer’s late guitarist Jeff Hanneman too the previous year. You could say this is a massive fuck you to metal from the GRAMMY’s, but in all honesty, who outside of the metal/alternative scene has really heard of these people or their bands? I doubt many people.

What is the point of these articles? just to cause a bit of banter? can’t think of anything better to write? all they do is seem to spark negativity from metalheads towards the GRAMMY’s and make Slipknot look a bit silly. They must be fucking bored…..rant over

The articles can be found here

http://www.metalinjection.net/latest-news/bummer-alert/gwars-oderus-urungus-wayne-static-excluded-from-grammys-in-memoriam-segment

http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/slipknots-masks-arent-gimmick-says-corey-taylor-even-though-they-are/

Festival Talk

Festivals are usually one of my favourite topics when it comes to music, having been to several over the last 6 years I always look forward to announcements for certain festivals that interest me. After a lecture in the last week about festivals I’ve decided to talk about my interests in this years festival announcements so far and what excites me about them, if I am.

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL –

12th-14th June

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Download has always been a favourite of mine over the years, having been there 5 times I consider it one of the best alternative festivals in the country. This year certainly has caught a lot peoples eyes from the get go, with Download veterans Slipknot headlining along with Muse and rock & roll legends Kiss. Mouthwatering headliners among very popular acts like Lamb of God, Slash, Judas Priest and countless more. Just like every year it has something for everyone. Personally I have decided against Download this year because it doesn’t excite me enough to want to go, my interests have changed a bit since I first went. Slowly over the last couple of years I’ve prefered hardcore and punk more, and even ska over metal and rock, which means less and less bands that I’m really into play Download. I trust that it will be fantastic for the people that do go, the headliners rarely disappoint and neither do a lot of the under-card. With no Sonisphere this year I can see this year being a complete sell out.

SLAM DUNK FESTIVAL

Leeds – 23rd May

Hatfield – 24th May

Wolverhampton – 25th May

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Slam Dunk is another one I have always kept my eye on, a festival I have always thought had picked up where Give It a Name festival dropped the ball. Full of pop punk, punk, ska, hardcore, acoustics acts and magazine favourites. 10 year anniversary you expect big things, and after collecting a Kerrang! award for best festival in 2014 you know that the guys in Slam Dunk ltd plan to help the festival grow. Pulling out a lot of big names already means that they mean business, past favourites like You Me At Six, Gallows, Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger and Taking Back Sunday, plus the every growing popularity of Neck Deep and Crossfaith, these acts will definitely draw in a crowd. Slam Dunk has been the first festival that has really excited me, mostly for the nostalgia acts in Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger and Millencolin that would take me back to the days that I played Tony Hawks Pro Skater on the Playstation. Though I do also have interest in the hardcore stage which I expect will be the Monster stage again, Crossfaith and Comeback kid are always exciting live. I hope to see MC Lars back on the bill, always a popular man at Slam Dunk, and I have a prediction that Big D and the Kids Table to be added too, perfect timing around their uk tour in May. Slam Dunk will sell out, with plenty of more acts still to be announced.

READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS

28th – 30th August

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Reading is another festival I usually keep an eye on, always a huge lineup with a mixture of mainstream and alternative acts, usually focusing on the indie rock scene with added acts from punk, hardcore, ska, sometimes metal, then the EDM and drum and bass scene. So far there are some interesting names thrown in, some surprising and others not so much. Metallica, surprising and not so surprising, though I have a couple of questions…. why? are the UK not bored with them headlining festivals yet? In the last 10 years Metallica have headlined Download twice, Sonisphere 3 times, Glastonbury, and this would be the 2nd time Headlining Reading and Leeds in that time…8 times in 10 years is a bit of an overkill surely? Bands like Refused and Pierce the Veil I am surprised to see added so soon, both popular in the alternative scene and i’d expect to be added when the lock up stage gets announced. No shock with Royal Blood, they have exploded over the UK in the last year and I expect them to be fairly high up on a mainstage, probably just before Metallica. Mumford & Sons, Bastille and Deadmau5 are the only other names I actually recognise enough to be mainstage acts and big enough to draw a crowd. There is excitement among individual acts, statuses like “Bastille got added, I must go” and similar related comments. So far I am very unimpressed with this festival though, nothing captivates me enough to consider it so far, last year I know the festival struggled to sell tickets, I almost predict the same this year. Pick up your game guys.

BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR

6th – 9th August

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I can’t say I have ever been excited about Bloodstock, there are usually never enough bands I like for me to justify the money to spend on the festival, though there have been occasions when a certain band has headlined that I have considered a day ticket just for that event. Mostly Thrash and Death metal filling the lineups each year, it is more of a niche festival for “true metalheads”. Gradually I have seen bigger acts headline Bloodstock over the years, huge names like Megadeth, Slayer, Machine Head, Alice Cooper and Motorhead, and this year Rob Zombie joining that list. Each year I see bands that play Download play here and I see Bloodstock heading to what Monsters of Rock used to be, much to the disgrace of the “true metalheads” I expect. As much as I’d love to see Rob Zombie, it is a no from me.

REBELLION FESTIVAL

6th -9th – August

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Since 2010 I look at Rebellion and decide it I have a small interest in it dude to it being an all punk festival, and usually there are several bands I’d happily see, though not enough again for me to justify the money to go. I nearly decided to this year just because I want to go to a new festival I haven’t been to before. In all honesty Anti-Flag caught my eye and sparked my interest this year, with other acts like Random hand and local band to me Maid of Ace also bands I’d enjoy seeing, there is a lot that I’m personally not willing to watch just for the sake of trying a new festival. Big acts this year though will entice a lot of people, Sick of it All, Sham 69 and the Damned being up there. I expect it will be fun for the punks that go, maybe one day I’ll be up for it.

BOOMTOWN FAIR

13th-16th August

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I have taken a risk on BoomTown this year, never been and never really heard too much about it apart from it having a lot of ska bands go along with lots of variety over 20 something stages. I have also made the decision to go that contradicts my decision not to go to Download, the amount of bands I’d watch compared to bands I wouldn’t be excited for, so why have I decided I am going to BoomTown? It is something new, with eagerness to see Flogging Molly and Gogol Borello and Streetlight Manifesto who I have been aching to see since summer 2010, then acts like Capdown and King Prawn excite me. The Ska stage is to be announced early in March which will hopefully help me justify my decision. I do like the difference in this festival to something I would normally do and I have heard good things about it, so many different styles from ska punk to fold to drum and bass to psychodelic, the divide in types of music fans is something I will always feel skeptic about compared to a festival that is predominantly one music scene, but I am excited for the experience. There is some buzz about this first announcement from a few people and I await to see who else gets announced.

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There are other festivals that always catch my eye, and again this year some of the look incredibly enticing. Groezrock has always been a favourite festival of mine that I have never been to, I consider it a European Warped Tour with a very punk lineup along with hardcore, metalcore and ska. I think the logistics of it being in Belgium and having to sort the travel has put me off before, and the timing of it this year has put me off. But the lineup does look incredible each year, and with the likes of Lagwagon and Atreyu I am kicking myself a little bit this time round. I will go one year.

Hevy Fest was fantastic last year, £70 to go to a hardcore festival and see a few of my favourite bands was really fun, and as the poster says “AND THERE’S FUCKING MONKEYS”. A festival in a zoo car park? How cool is that, and free entrance to the zoo with a festival ticket, i think that must be the only time every year that the Port Lympne is bombarded with drunk/hungover and possibly smelly hardcore kids!. The bands announced so far do not entice me at all, though there is another announcement later this month.

Ghostfest is yet to be announced, but there is talk about who people want to play and rumours flooding social networks. The 10th year anniversary has sparked buzz and I can tell there are many who await the announcement. I don’t know if I can afford to go this year, but I definitely can’t wait to see who gets added. I do actually predict the likes of Architects as they have been favourites in the past, and Rotting out considering they had to pull out last year, that may be wishful thinking though. No doubt that once again Leeds will be flooded with fans of hardcore and metalcore this year.

There are plenty of festivals I haven’t mentioned so what other festivals are people excited for?

My Favourite Music Releases Of 2014

Considering I am now using this blog more for stuff that is less business based, I have decided to go for a more personal touch and am going to talk about my favourite albums and EPs of the year. I’ll be honest, I have listened to a lot of new albums, and not a lot has impressed me this year, 2014 has been rather weak in my opinion, So it has taken something rather special to make my list. These are not exactly critical reviews, more just my thoughts on them

Slipknot – 5: The Gray Chapter 

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I find it funny that as a Slipknot album, I don’t rate this as high as I rate most of its predecessors, yet I still consider it one of the best albums of the year. I come at the album from 2 fronts, as a metal fan and as a Slipknot fan. As a metal fan it is a really good album, insanely heavy with some great complimentary melodies, chants that can get crowd going, and the emotion driven by the death of former bassist Paul Gray (the album being a tribute to him), you can sense the feeling is there in the band again to write a really good album, something that I never really felt with All Hope Is Gone (2008).

Now as a Slipknot fan, there are elements I can only describe as an anti-climax, moments of pure “yes I love this” which lead to “what the fuck was that?” AOV being the main one, the ferociousness from the early days gave me tingles, then the chorus just killed it for me by going soft, eventually I grew to like it, but initially it wasn’t what I wanted in a Slipknot song that started of so viciously, Nomadic was a similar feeling too.

I know a lot of people loved this album from the start, but it was definitely a grower for me.

Song to check out – Skeptic

Grove Street Families – The San Fierro EP

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For anyone familiar with the term, Groves Street Families is a nod to the Grand Theft Auto game series, Grove Street being a fictional street in the San Andreas instalment in the series. Here comes a hardcore band who write songs as if they are from the fictional street, writing songs about being in the hood, partying with the GSF Familia and capping gangstas. Some people might find this stupid though I think it is brilliant, just try not to take them seriously. Musically it is simple, raw and energetic, what more do you want from a hardcore release. With San Andreas 2 in the works, I really hope that Rockstar consider adding these guys into the soundtrack.

Song to check out – GSF ‘Til I Die

Brutality Will Prevail – Suspension of Consciousness

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Admittedly before this release I wasn’t really a fan of BWP, though with Louis Gauthier from Breaking Point taking over as the new vocalist my interest peaked. Being a huge fan of Breaking Point I was intrigued with what this new album would sound like, and maybe I am biased towards Louis but I prefer “new” BWP, Louis’ voice just suits the music better. I was really impressed with Suspension of Consciousness, It is heavy and gritty and everything you’d expect from hardcore, yet it has a nice ambience to it, a somewhat stoner rock feel to it (ironic considering they are straight edge). I feel like I’m one of the few people that really likes this album, as most BWP loyalists seem to slam it instead of saying it is a progression, I disagree, it is a progression, they seem to have evolved as musicians without staying completely in the hardcore niche, and I’m excited about what is to follow.

Song to check out – Escapist

Martyr Defiled – No Hope No Morality

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This is an absolute beast, some of the most crushing breakdowns I have heard on an album in 2014. Considering my recent discovery that I’m not completely in love with deathcore anymore, it surprises me that this is still up there as one of my favourite albums of the year. I think it is just the raw ferociousness of it all, no holds barred anger in album format! No Hope No Morality certainly moves Martyr Defiled up a notch in the world of deathcore, I personally think they now surpass Suicide Silence after their disappointing release this year.

Song to check out – 616

Pay No Respect – Hope For The Hopeless EP

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Pay No Respect have been been one of my favourites over the last few years, and I still consider them one of the most underrated bands in the hardcore scene. With another EP under their belt, Hope For The Hopeless  is nothing but spectacular. Brutal metallic hardcore that pulls no punches with breakdowns and grooves to get you dancing. A simple 4 track release with relentless aggression. I feel this deserves more recognition than it has received so far.

Song to check out – This World Is Ours

These are just my favourites, the releases that kept me hooked, there are a lot of releases that were good, but not great this year. As I said I was rather disappointed with music of 2014 as a whole, I hope this changes in 2015. Let me know what your favourites were…

The Fine Line Between Plagiarism And Taking Influence For A Song

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As some of you may be aware, Robin Thicke looks to be headed to court over his hit single “Blurred Lines” allegedly stealing from Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”.

After listening to both songs I can see quite a large comparison between the songs. Similar beat, vocal style and samples of people going “WOO”. though it is not the same song in my opinion, you could argue that Blurred Lines is a song heavily influenced by Marvin Gaye, though not everyone will see it that way…. in all honesty where is the line drawn between stealing an idea/song and taking influence from an artist?

I can name countless songs that sound a bit like others songs, to songs that could be complete a complete rip off of another song, one example of Sum 41’s “The Bitter End” sounding a lot like Metallica’s “Battery” (even the titles are similar for god sake) or the fact that Five Finger Death Punch seemed to take strong influence from Slipknot, neither of those ended up going to court or getting sued over or major complaints of “they are trying to sound like us waaaaahhh”. Surprising considering Metallica’s history when it comes to ripping from them

Though I have noticed it’s cases where a hit single is involved it’s more likely that someone is going to get into trouble over plagiarism if in fact there is a case to make. Rarely do you see it in non mainstream music, now is it jealousy that someone is making more money from an idea similar to theirs? that someone else did a better job?

Maybe…I’d personally understand if I wrote a song and someone else completely stole it and made a hit from it and i didn’t. Some cases have been obviously like that, the most obvious I have known is Avril Lavigne getting sued because she initually stole The Rubinoos song “I wanna be your boyfriend” changed the words slightly and called it “Girlfriend” which essentially became a popular hit, now that was the same song initially. Its hard to tell in these cases whether it really is pride at stake that someone stole your work, or just being pissy that they were more successful with it.

So many questions come from what is right and wrong about using another artists music within your own. Where are the boundaries for plagiarism? stealing the riff? the melody? chorus or other lyrics? using slight snippets? is it enough for an artist to just be credited if a piece of their song has been used for it to be ok? who decides? Would you be complimented if someone took influence from your work or be pissed that someone is stealing your ideas?

what are you opinions here?

My source for the Robin Thicke/Marvin Gaye story:
http://www.completemusicupdate.com/article/blurred-lines-plagiarism-case-to-proceed-to-court/

Also judge for yourself is this Blurred Lines a complete rip off of Got To Give It Up?

Marvin Gaye
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1edjqg_marvin-gaye-got-to-give-it-up-1977_music

vs

Robin Thicke
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDUC1LUXSU

Something That I Found Interesting In The Music Industry Today 16/10/14

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Today I found out that one of my favourite bands London metallers The Defiled played a gig in quite the unusual place, on top of a floating iceberg in Greenland. They are the first ever band to do such a thing, the closest would be Metallica‘s Antarctica show last year, though from watching the little documentary, this trumps that purely because of how dangerous this could have been. Without sounding too dramatic, the band were warned by locals and experts that they could have died if the Iceberg toppled, broke or they simply fell through, the water would be freezing to the point any of the members could have a heart attack.

Initially my thoughts are why the fuck would you risk playing a performance in such a dangerous location? and what happens next? because lets face it, it’s been done now and nobody is going to do the same again because they will be known as the band that copied The Defiled, do bands now try to play just as interesting or dangerous shows? try to beat The Defiled at playing what was the coolest gig ever? (pun intended)

Personally i think this is a bigger thing for them than the rest of the music world, it seems like an incredible experience to play where nobody else has played before and see a new part of the world and bond as a band. They might go in The Guinness Book of Records as the first ever band to play on a floating Iceberg, and it might have got them noticed by people outside of the metal world, or just mostly people that read the Metro, but nothing more than that.

Credit to them though, I definitely wouldn’t have the balls to do such a gig, especially after hearing the possibilities of what could happen to me.

My information and image were both taken from

http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/the-defiled-plays-worlds-first-gig-on-floating-iceberg/

My Thoughts On Todays News In The Industry 15/10/14

I have recently signed up to a free trial of Record of the Day and CMU Daily, both are sites that e-mail you the on-goings of the music business world, a way to keep up with what is going on in the industry. like any form of news brief there will be something you find interesting and some you really cannot care about.

There were lots of stories but the one that stood out to me was on how Taylor Swift had her new song Out of the Woods released through iTunes, but it wasn’t available to UK customers because of her label’s new marketing strategy. I don’t know about anyone else but i think that is such a dumb idea, surely you’ll make a lot more money if you have a larger audience to sell to. It is almost common sense, let them have the taster to build up hype for the new album instead of pissing your fans off. (which it had, meaning Taylor had to apologise)