We are very excited to bring you our tenth record: Banker’s Hill. It’s a nine-song exploration into the challenge of living in the moment.
Our music has been described as “meditation in motion,” which seems apt. Banker’s Hill explores the paradox of beauty in anxiety, the importance, and effect of family and the fleeting possibility of satisfaction.
For the first time in our career, we worked with a producer. We teamed up with Sonny DiPerri and moved into an incredible studio called Panoramic House on the beautiful Northern California coast. Working with such a talented producer really pulled out our strengths and cut away our weaknesses. We learned and grew more than we expected to and couldn’t be happier with the results.
Some people are running from the current moment, we’re running towards it. Come with us.
– Kristian and Tim
Armed with merely a double-neck bass/guitar, drums and a dizzying array of foot pedals, El Ten Eleven creates complex, deeply felt music, from scratch, onstage, with no help from laptops or additional musicians. Made up of Kristian Dunn (bass, guitar) and Tim Fogarty (Drums), they utilize multiple looping pedals to create songs that sound as though they are being played by at least six people. Most first-timers to an El Ten Eleven show are stunned that the band is a duo. It’s a refreshing site in this age of letting the computers do all the work.
Since the band’s inception in 2002, they have always been just two people who produce their own records. That attitude of self-reliance led to the band launching their own Fake Record Label, where they have self-released 6 full-length albums over the past decade plus. For 2018’s Banker’s Hill, the band brought producer Sonny Diperri into the fold and moved up to the beautiful Panoramic House studios in Stinson Beach, CA for a month to create their 7th long-player. The decision to bring another collaborative force onboard has proven well worth the change of process.
“Sonny gave me everything I wanted from a producer. Not only is he a phenomenal engineer, but he helped us arrange and perform our songs in a way that we couldn’t have on our own.” – Dunn
Part of El Ten Eleven’s success has come from tasteful licensing to Film & TV. Their music has been used in everything from Lexus commercials to the MTV Video Music Awards but the most notoriety has come from licensing partnerships with Gary Hustwit’s award-winning design documentary trilogy, “Helvetica,” “Objectified” and “Urbanized.” Featuring both original music from El Ten Eleven and scores from Kristian Dunn, the films’ beautiful precision are a perfect marriage for El Ten Eleven’s meticulously-layered sounds.
Joan Of Arc
Twenty years now there’s been this thing, our band, Joan of Arc. Sometimes we forget about it and let it fizzle out for a year while we tend to our lives. Sometimes we cling to it for a year and wake up surprised and exhausted every day for months on end, given walking tours of old Italian towns, browsing dreary British pedestrian malls or barefooted organic grocers on the Pacific coast. We know how lucky we are.
The less we feel like a band—the more we can continue to be a band, but escape that feeling of doing all those shitty, corny things expected of bands—the truer to ourselves we feel. And you all know it, everyone knows it even if everyone has to bury it to get on with their day-to-day: the truer to ourselves we feel, the better everything gets. We have shifted shapes and modified our approaches quite a number of times in the course of twenty years. And we’ve done so always aiming to stay true to ourselves at that moment, by instinct and with conscious intent. This time, it took us a long time to figure out how to start back up. We threw away a lot of songs and started over, over and over.
But here’s the thing: We are getting better at being ourselves. So many of the postures of youth just fall away with time. Most bands break up by that point or become caricatures of their younger selves. Because money is tricky, or I should say, it comes to be that energy is tricky to muster after all of it goes into the basics of sustaining yourself.
Every day, at some point, it occurs to me that Richard Brautigan killed himself at the age that I am now. But I got this community of weirdo collaborators to lean on that he never had.
We’ve never had an audience that gets any validation of its coolness through liking us. We’ve mangled, juxtaposed, and collaged too many elements for that social contract. But we trust each other.
This time, finally, we trusted each other enough to throw all the songs away, to even throw away every preconceived idea about which one of us should take position at which instrument. We hit Record and played, and our collective tastes emerged. And they, our tastes in the moment, were the only standards in all the expanse of the stupefying and beautiful unknown universe, that we regarded as relevant in the least.
– Tim Kinsella
Tickets: $12 Advance / $15 Day of Show
Andy McKee is among the world’s finest acoustic guitarists. His youthful energy and attention to song structure and melodic content elevates him above the rest. He entertains both the eye and the ear as he magically transforms the steel string guitar into a full orchestra via his use of altered tunings, tapping, partial capos, percussive hits and a signature two-handed technique.
McKee’s crossover success has helped him to achieve millions upon millions of YouTube viewers, underscoring his emergence as one of today’s most unique and influential artists. He has been featured as a cover story in both Acoustic Guitar Magazine in the U.S. and Acoustic Magazine in the UK and is also the figurehead of the unique Guitar Masters tours. McKee’s tour dates have taken him through Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, including tours with legendary acts including Prince and Dream Theater.
Live performances of Andy’s have become a point of fascination with his loyal followers. So, in late 2015, Andy decided it was time to release a live album. Featuring tracks from his entire catalog, Live Book was recorded live in December 2015 at The Melting Point in Athens, GA, the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth, GA, and Workplay in Birmingham, AL. McKee went through the recordings from all three shows and selected the finest takes of each set. Reflecting on the song choices, he looks to provide current fans the chance to relive their favorite shows and hopes that he can showcase the energy he creates for those who haven’t been able to attend a show and new fans alike.
“I’ve always wanted to do a live album; for quite a few years I’ve felt it’s something that has been missing from my collection of releases,” says McKee. “This album will feature some of my YouTube hits like ‘Drifting’ and ‘Rylynn’, some songs from my 2014 EP Mythmaker, and a cover of a Michael Hedges song called ‘Because It’s There’ played on harp guitar that I haven’t released yet.”
McKee is the first artist to be signed CGP Sounds, the record label founded by fellow guitarist Tommy Emmanuel.
“I’m honored to be a part of his label. I heard Tommy 15 years ago at a festival in Kansas and was blown away by his playing and performing, and I still am,” Mckee stated. “To be the first person on his label is surreal, and I’m excited and proud to be a part of it.”
Live Book is set to be released digitally in Europe on February 12 and worldwide (digitally and physically) on April 22. The album, McKee’s first live record, will be released through CGP Sounds. In support of the new album, McKee will embark on “The Next Chapter Tour” throughout Europe in February and March, and the United States in April and May.
Tickets: $20 Advance / $25 Day of Show – General Admission Seated
Between The Buried And Me
What if dreams could be broadcast for the purpose of entertainment? Could you consume the innermost thoughts of another person on screen? If you could, what does that say about an attention-starved audience? More importantly, what would become of the dreamer?
Between The Buried and Me pose those questions and more on their two-part eighth full-length and introductory offering for Sumerian Records, Automata. The North Carolina quintet—Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr. [lead vocals, keyboards], Paul Waggoner [lead and rhythm guitar, backing and lead vocals], Dustie Waring [rhythm and lead guitar], Blake Richardson [drums], and Dan Briggs [bass, keyboards]—explore these themes by personally smashing boundaries once again. Automata marks the band’s first proper double LP-spanning concept. It sees them venture into new territory with visual accompaniment for the entire body of work. Moreover, they continue to expand their ever-evolving style, upholding a tradition of progression in the process.
“We never want to repeat ourselves,” affirms Paul. “We’re always trying to do something different, and this album fell right into that sort of pattern. We push ourselves into new places, while retaining our basic sound. Musically, we go somewhere that’s fun and challenging. We never know how it’s going to turn out. These are uncharted waters for us. We’ve never taken on a visual capacity of this magnitude. We’ve never written an entire piece and presented it in separate parts like this.”
Tommy agrees, “This many years into our career, we want to continue doing things differently.”
This approach cemented the group as progressive music’s most unpredictable outlier since its formation in 2000. Among many milestones, they released 2007’s watershed Colors followed by The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues EP in 2011 and The Parallax II: Future Sequence a year later. 2015 saw Coma Ecliptic elevate them to new heights yet again. Not only did it bow at #12 on the Billboard Top 200 (a career high for the band), but it also garnered widespread acclaim from Noisey, Revolver, Alternative Press, and The Guardian who welcomed the album with a rare perfect score. In between, they launched countless sold out headline tours and support runs with the likes of Mastodon.
Now, they break more ground with Automata.
“Lyrically, I wanted to write something that I treated as a puzzle until it comes together at the end,” continues Tommy. “For as deep and dark as it is, there’s a positive outcome, which we’ve never had. The story follows a protagonist whose dreams are used as entertainment broadcasted by a company called Voice of Trespass. Most of the record takes place within that dream. The character thinks it’s all real.”
“Even though it takes place in the future, there are a lot of parallels to modern society,” adds Paul. “Oftentimes, we turn athletes, movie stars, and musicians into commodities. We forget that they’re real people with problems and issues. They’re society’s escape from reality as we use them for entertainment. Hence, society plays a role in their downfall, be it drug dependence, isolation, or even suicide. Society perpetuates mental illness with those expectations.”
Automata – Part I unveils the first six songs comprising the entire body of work. Stretching near seven minutes, “Condemned to the Gallows” kicks off this journey. Acoustic guitar builds in epic fashion before sweeping distortion takes hold followed by unpredictable rhythms and a seismic vocal performance which, as Tommy puts it, “sets up the whole story.”
Elsewhere, the trudging eight-minute guitar symphony of “Yellow Eyes” spirals into the melodic bliss of “Millions.”
“There are a lot of moments where we totally venture away from the traditional formula of what a progressive metal band can do,” states Dan. “There are all these little moments where we’ve done something we never did before. ‘Millions’ is the perfect example. It’s four-minutes of straight melody—another first.”
With Automata Part I, Part II, and the myriad of visuals on the horizon, Between The Buried And Me realize their potential to its fullest—and go one step further.
“All of our music should build up to the newest record,” Tommy leaves off. “That’s what happens with Automata. You can take little snippets from our past throughout this album. It sounds like Between The Buried And Me, but it’s still new. We hope to keep the music industry on its toes. This is part of doing that.”
“Your life is written in indelible ink. There’s no going back to erase the past, tweak your mistakes, or fill in missed opportunities. When the moment’s over, your fate is sealed. But if you look closer, you notice the ink never really dries on any of our experiences. They can change their meaning the longer you look at them…” – John Koenig
The world is changing. As a species, we’ve never been more conscious of who we are or where we are going – our minds circling with questions that are no longer exclusive to the more philosophical among us. It’s a revelation that inspired much behind TesseracT’s latest full-length, Sonder. The UK-based progressive metal pioneers, who were instrumental in paving a new wave of exciting and heavy sounds the world over, purposefully chose a title that had no orthodox meaning whatsoever. When you think about it, this is something that marries perfectly with their non-conformist approach to music…
“I stumbled across the word ‘Sonder’ a few years ago,” reveals singer Dan Tompkins. “I assumed it was an actual word taken from the dictionary. When I was thinking over the concept and titles for the album, I looked the word up in the dictionary but couldn’t find it anywhere. Lo and behold it was coined by a wonderful writer that was beautifully putting into words, the thoughts and feelings that nobody had officially considered, it seems.”
The writer in question, John Koenig, is someone who has been at the forefront of reimagining how we communicate, much like TesseracT have been doing through sound. Author of The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows, he created his own terms based on research on etymologies and meanings of used prefixes, suffixes and word roots, ultimately filling in the linguistic gaps we never realized were there…
“The word ‘Sonder’ is a name given to the seemingly ineffable emotions we experience when realizing that each of us are simultaneously living vivid and complex lives,” continues Dan. “Everyone has a story, a unique story that is shaped and created within a plethora of emotion. This realization, or rather perspective, can leave us conscience-stricken with regards to any sense of self-importance, and render us insignificant to the world and people that we’re surrounded by. There has been a huge generational shift in technological advances compared to when all of us in TesseracT were children – disconnection from each other can only be a bad thing in my eyes, the art of communication is more important than ever. In a volatile, aggressive and ignorant world, maybe it’s this very perspective that is missing and much needed: these are the notions of Sonder. Very deep to say the least…”
The eight tracks that make the tech-metal quintet’s fourth album could very well be their best yet, expanding on parallel contemplations within their musical philosophies. The notion carries far indeed – we live in an age where many artists are only too happy to settle for the old words and TesseracT sit within a select few actively seeking new ones. This time around, however, things are more streamlined than in the past – amidst all of the dreamy atmospherics and sumptuous reverie is a new sense of urgency. From the bending grooves of opener Luminary to The Arrow’s concluding reversed samples, clocking in at 37 minutes in total, here is a band that never sounded so honest and direct…
“Whilst we do have lofty ideals, TesseracT has always been a project that is chasing its own momentum,” offers bassist/backing vocalist Amos Williams. “The cohesive vibe stems more from the short time period in which the album was produced by Acle [Kahney, guitars] rather than any conscious effort. It’s no secret that the majority of TesseracT’s general output has always been from Acle. This put a lot of pressure on him, so this time around we had a wealth of ideas shared in an online vault and started building tracks out of these sketches. I would also argue that we nearly always absorb the attitude of the bands that we tour within the lead up to a new album session. More recently it’s been Megadeth and Meshuggah, so maybe read into that what you will, but there was definitely a refreshment in our musical and sonic reference points.”
As the bassist explains, the band were very hands-on with the overall creative process – himself overseeing the artwork, their guitarist handling the mastering and various members of the band getting stuck in with the engineering that took place at their own 4D and Celestial Sound studios. The methodology has served them well thus far – allowing the musicians to keep their art as pure as can be, without being watered down or infiltrated by outside influences…
“This started out as a necessity but has developed further down the line into something that actually defines our sound and look,” continues Amos. “I guess we are a collection of inspired people, who also can’t sit still. Have to keep moving and have to keep learning. Douglas Castro from the preamp manufacturer Darkglass recently asked a question online: Who inspires you? My answer was simple: perpetual people. Those of us that keep learning, changing our minds based upon new knowledge, unafraid to head out into the storm. My own personal goal is to be one of these perpetual persons, and I would hope that shows in my work with TesseracT.”
For TesseracT, the future is looking bright indeed. The quintet has arguably become the UK’s biggest metal proposition since Bring Me The Horizon and thanks to the digital world that helped them spawn a movement along with American comrades Periphery, it’s a status that speaks on a global level. From performing to massive crowds in India to making history as the first band to play on top of an igloo village in the Arctic Circle – it seems no place is off-limits for the five members. Where many artists struggle for recognition outside of their home territories, TesseracT could very well be the opposite extreme – sometimes even bigger in cities thousands of miles away from the one they call home…
“As touring artists we’ve been lucky enough to travel the world, meeting new people at every turn and experiencing many different cultures and traditions,” explains Dan. “This brings with it a greater sense of perspective on how we view the world at large. As a group of individuals within TesseracT we are all very different people with varying views on philosophy, politics, science, faith, religion and world affairs but at the centre of it all we are peaceful, respectful and creative individuals that are not necessarily held back by the ‘normalities’ of life. The concept of Sonder is something we can all relate to; the realization that we are all playing a part in a greater story – musically as well as conceptually. It includes elements from all three-previous full-lengths – the harsh abrasiveness of One, the ethereal elements of Altered State and the accessibility of Polaris all molded into a hybrid TesseracT sound.”
The singer pauses for a moment before letting us further inside his head. He articulates his thoughts with a strikingly grounded level of determination – one where the pursuit of their dreams, and unrivaled success in doing so, doesn’t distract from the bigger picture…
“I feel there is a depth to our music that resonates with people,” he shrugs, when asked about their invitation to headline one of Download Festival’s stages this summer – a luxury very rarely afforded to homegrown talent.
“It’s something that isn’t immediately accessible or identifiable but rather something that simply grows with time,” adds Dan. “And that can also be said for TesseracT’s growth as a band. We have worked constantly on improving all areas of the project and with that, we’ve seen steady growth in our fan base as we’ve continued to tour. We are definitely not a ‘flash in the pan’ overnight success, we are absolutely working towards a long-term goal.”
The only outside influence helping them realize that long-term goal this time around was long-serving front of house engineer Aidan O’Brien – arguably the only person that understands the key to TesseracT’s intricate yet monolithic wall of noise outside of its five members. It was a collaboration not to be taken lightly, reveals the sound maverick…
“The biggest challenge is probably living up to their reputation,” he reveals. “Totally separate from working with them, they’re one of my favorite bands – so it can be a little intimidating submitting a song idea or adding arrangement ideas to something someone else has written, knowing it might end up on the album and shape what TesseracT is to people. I was constantly aware of not wanting to drop the ball and screw up a great song, so I had to try and set my own standards pretty high!”
The band and engineer can rest assured the standards were most certainly kept and then raised for good measure. The burning question of who will replace the likes of Metallica or Iron Maiden and headline the biggest celebrations of rock music once they retire is one that has long weighed heavy, but finally, it feels like there is an answer. Make no mistake – with a world tour beginning in North American in Spring – 2018 will be remembered as the year that belonged to TesseracT.
Astronoid is a five-piece band from Boston, MA with influences ranging from Devin Townsend and Mew to Alcest and Cynic. Their first full-length album, Air, was released by Blood Music in 2016 as part of an evolving experience that complements their two acclaimed EPs from 2012-13, Stargazer and November. The driving rhythms, subtle time signatures and soaring vocal harmonies combine to create an auditory cloud to lift you into the ether. There’s always something new to discover hidden within the dense layers of thrashy guitar riffs and euphoric vocals. Lyrically, the record conveys a disillusioned and hopeful view of the world as a whole.
Tickets: $25 Advance / $28 Day of Show
Beyond the fog of burning blunts, the sea of whiskey, and forest of empties, you’ll find two sweethearts in a Nashville garage. Just as they were yesterday, the day before that, and years prior. Searching for the perfect combination of string plucking, button pushing, and knob turning to craft the ideal sound to make you forget your world and step into theirs. The aforementioned sweethearts are Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber; known to most as “Cherub.”
It all began in 2010 at Middle Tennessee State University. The two met as Jason was playing around town with local bands and Jordan was crafting what would become known as their first album, Man of the Hour. A few years later, it was the song “Doses & Mimosas” that caught the attention of the public and gained the interest of Columbia Records, who signed the duo in 2013. Their 4-year major label run brought their fans two LP’s, Year of the Caprese and Bleed Gold Piss Excellence, while also sending them around the world playing festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, Outside Lands, Osheaga, Summer Camp, Summer Sonic, and headlining 4 US tours. Now, a gold record and 130 million Spotify streams later, the bond between them remains “unfuckwithable,” as they construct their newest batch of genre-defying anthems.
From the streets of Bangkok to the dive bars of Nashville, Cherub has been drawing inspiration from everything around them. “Each one of these songs was written and recorded at different times, in different places across the world,” says Jason. “It seems to make sense, releasing each new song individually, giving us a chance to take you to where we were in our heads when it was created and pair each track with a something visual to tie it together.”
Straying from the common record label strategy of releasing a single or two followed by an album, Cherub has decided to give each new song it’s own time in the sun. “We don’t want anything to get lost,” says Jordan. The new collection of work spans multiple genres while still keeping with the same style of addictively playful melodies Cherub fans have grown to love. It’s a “song first, production later” approach at creating music that may bring some ears back to an earlier time in the duo’s existence. “There’s a certain simplicity in these new songs that remind me of the first few Cherub records,” says Jason.
There’s no doubt that the latest Cherub efforts will win over their existing audience and draw new listeners to their established brand of debauchery. From your ears to your heart, like searching for room on their bodies for a new tattoo, they’ll find a way.
Mosie is the savory musical collaboration between Boston-based singer/songwriter/producer Jesse LeVines and musician/producer Aidan Brody. Originally, Mosie began as LeVines’ solo project with the release of his debut mixtape Soft Serve in 2015. The mixtape was written, produced, and pan-fried entirely by LeVines out of Nashadelphia Studios in Nashville, TN. After moving back to Boston, the small town Massachusetts local teamed up with Brody to begin cooking their debut studio album, Tangerine (2018). Mosie’s sound is best described as a Bratwurst Bump: a rugged sound, with a bold hip-hop backbone, smeared with crisp, tangy vocals, and luscious synth and guitar lines filling in the cracks. They take influence from old soul crooners, 80s disco, and a wide range of hip-hop, scooping them all into the sexiest sundae you’ve ever heard.
Tickets: $20 Advance / $22 Day of Show
Ranky Tanky released their eponymous debut on Oct. 20th, 2017. By December of that year, the group had been profiled on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and their album soared to the #1 positions on the Billboard, I-Tunes, and Amazon Jazz Charts.
“Gullah” comes from West African language and means “a people blessed by God.” “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” In this spirit, this Charleston, SC-based quintet performs timeless music of Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, the musical roots of Charleston, SC are “rank” and fertile ground from which these contemporary artists are grateful to have grown.
South Carolina natives Quentin Baxter, Kevin Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, and Clay Ross first came together in 1998, fresh out of University, to form a seminal Charleston jazz quartet. Now, united by years apart and a deeper understanding of home, these accomplished artists have come together again, joined by one of the Lowcountry’s most celebrated vocalists Quiana Parler, to revive a “Heartland of American Music” born in their own backyards.
Tickets: $25 GA Floor SRO / $35 GA Seating / $45 GA Preferred Seating
Described by the Huffington Post as “an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music”, NIYAZ has created a 21st-century global trance tradition by seamlessly blending medieval Sufi poetry and folk songs from their native Iran and its surrounding countries in the Persian Gulf, with rich acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art modern electronics.
Niyaz was founded in 2004 by captivating vocalist/ composer and two-time JUNO Award nominee Azam Ali, and multi-instrumentalist/ composer and JUNO Award nominee Loga Ramin Torkian. Today with four best selling and critically acclaimed albums released on Six Degrees Records, all of which have debuted at #1 on iTunes and garnered the band an incredible amount of media attention including features on NPR and PRI, Niyaz continues to tour internationally and build on its impressive and loyal fan base worldwide.
Niyaz is committed to creating music with a deep social message aimed at uniting people from different cultural and religious backgrounds through our shared humanity. Guided by the mystical poetry of legendary Sufi poets and the ancient wisdom of traditional folk songs that impart the beauty of ethnic and religious minority groups in Iran and its surrounding regions in Middle East, Niyaz steps into a future that is ancient, inviting listeners to embark upon a philosophical quest into the human depths with a message of hope against injustice and oppression, a universal tribute to beauty, cultural and spiritual diversity, freedom and dignity for all.
Now, for the first time, the band themselves have compiled their favorite tracks from their acclaimed catalog and included one brand new song to create a “Best Of” collection that stands as a testament to their groundbreaking legacy and a harbinger of the exciting music yet to come from these amazing, influential musicians.
Tickets: $25 GA Floor SRO / $35 GA Seating / $45 GA Preferred Seating
Marc Broussard is an artist with a unique gift of channeling the spirits of classic R&B, rock and soul into contemporary terms. This gift has been a matter of common knowledge since 2002, when Broussard released his debut album, Momentary Setback, which he recorded and released independently at age 20. It was no secret before then, going back to those lucky witnesses who heard him belt “Johnny B. Goode” onstage at age 5 while sitting in with his father’s band. Throughout his life, Broussard has been tapped as a talent to watch.
Marc’s song “Home” was successful at radio and catapulted him onto the national touring stage. His music has been placed in many TV shows and movies. The timeless, soulful nature of Marc’s vocal lends well to Film and TV, and will continue to do so for years to come.
Marc released a follow up to his S.O.S. album on 9/30/16. It is a soul covers album appropriately titled “S.O.S. 2”. He donated 50% of the profits to City of Refuge. The live performance video of the acoustic version of “Cry to Me” has garnered over 1,000,000 views on youtube.
Marc’s next record “Easy to Love” comes out on 9/15/17 and the lead single off the album “Don’t Be Afraid to Call Me” is being released on 7/14 with a feature on Rolling Stone Country.
Tickets: $20 Advance / $25 Day of Show / $40 Preferred GA Seating