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101.1 Wjrr's Earthday Birthday 25

  • Date: April 21, 2018
  • Time: 11:00am
  • Address:
    4603 West Colonial Drive
    Orlando, FL 32808
  • Cost: From $55.00 to $165.00

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Upcoming Events for Three Days Grace

The members of Three Days Grace began bashing punk chords when they were in their teens, carving a derivative yet energetic sound that fueled their live performances. Three Days Grace were formed in Norwood, Ontario, Canada, in 1997 by Adam Gontier (vocals, guitar), Brad Walst (bass), and Neil Sanderson (drums). The group was originally called Groundswell, a five-piece that lasted from 1992 until transforming to a trio five years later. Gontier and Walst were raised in Norwood, and many of their songs were inspired by living in a place with a population of around 1,500. The bandmembers were still in high school when they had their first gig, and they performed anywhere that would accept them -- including opening for a movie.

Three Days Grace eventually relocated to Toronto and were introduced to producer Gavin Brown by their old manager. The band gave Brown a private set, and he selected what he felt were the most promising tracks. The group then produced a demo for EMI Music Publishing Canada. With Brown at the helm, Three Days Grace recorded "(I Hate) Everything About You." The tune got them a publishing deal with EMI, and soon they were signed to Jive after being courted by the company's president. Brown and Three Days Grace were sent to a studio in Boston, Massachusetts, to start the group's debut album. The band completed its self-titled full-length in Woodstock, New York, at an isolated location free from big-city distractions. Heavily influenced by Kyuss and Sunny Day Real Estate, the dark, angst-ridden tales of small-town love and hate on Three Days Grace brought the group a Next Big Thing tag.

Three Days Grace was released on July 22, 2003, by which time "(I Hate) Everything About You" was already a hit on alternative radio stations in Canada. The band toured extensively behind the record for the next two years as both a supporting act and headliners, but after a while, life on the road left the band, especially Gontier, feeling isolated and alone. Consequently, this theme of disconnection -- coupled with the realization that one was, in fact, not alone -- would serve as the basis for their follow-up album. Getting back to their roots by writing the record in the Ontario countryside, One-X was released in June 2006. The album, which hit number five on the Billboard Top 200, marked the recorded debut of the band's second guitarist, Barry Stock. Three Days Grace supported One-X throughout the summer on dates alongside Staind, Hoobastank, and Nickelback, while "Animal I Have Become" became a number one modern rock hit. In 2009, the group released its third full-length album, Life Starts Now. After heading out on tour with bands like Nickelback and Avenged Sevenfold, the band returned to the studio to record their fourth album, the more atmospheric, electronic-tinged Transit of Venus.

Upcoming Events for 10 Years

Jesse Hasek – vocals Ryan "Tater" Johnson – guitar Lewis Cosby – bass Brian Vodinh – guitar/drums

The members of 10 Years might not have used the word crossroads when they began the making of their newest Universal Republic album, but all would concur the wolf was at the door. Figuratively and literally – agree frontman Jesse Hasek and bassist Lewis Cosby; Fighting off the most unforgiving of predatory assaults that comes with the territory of a respected, veteran band like 10 Years who bears the scars of every battle won or lost along the way. The close-knit members' core creed has always demanded they set their own standards – answering only to their collective challenges as a band, wolves and industry naysayers…be damned. The difference this time is they called on all their might. And more than a little wisdom.

The aptly titled result – Feeding The Wolves – thunders out from their storm- charred legacy as the heaviest album they've made in nearly a decade, a gift to loyal fans long promised darker hues from the Tennessee band, and maybe a much needed ‘opening' for a rock world starving for some kick-ass direction, of late. Ominous songs such as "Shoot It Out," "The Wicked Ones," and "Now Is The Time" sound and feel as if they can stop bullets, spreading the kind of musical shards and shrapnel that only a band in peak, 10 Years' condition can deliver.

"I've enjoyed every album we've made for different reasons," says Jesse. "We never want to make the same record twice, but this one started with a kind of aggressive edge and ended with that same energy that really felt special. We worked hard not to take that ‘edge' off. We kept the integrity of the songs by keeping them aggressive." Lewis seconds the notion: "We've been saying for

years we wanted to get back to a heavier, darker sound and then by the time we'd go into the studio, things would change. This time nothing changed. There was always that kick-ass feeling in the room, coupled with some things we haven't done before."

Producer Howard Benson (Seether, Flyleaf) was chosen to helm the proceedings, another integral component to locking down the 10 Years magic that had made them one of the world's most enigmatic live and studio bands. "He understood where we were at and where we wanted to go," says Lewis. "He was perfect for this 'big' sounding kind of record," states Jesse. Ironically, both Jesse and Lewis also cite the 'drift' after 2008's prophetically titled Division - an album that was made after nearly two years on the road – as another factor in the path back to 10 Years' reclamation: A trial by fire and those not-as-obvious corrosive elements that can whittle away at a band's interior compass. The entire period became emblematic of the push-and-pull going on within 10 Years, truly a band that was stretched to its limits. "I think every band who has some success goes through it," says Lewis. "But there were days after a show where I'd actually wonder ‘was this our last?' We went through all kinds of changes during the Division cycle. Personnel changes, management changes – a lot of negativity rippling through our camp. We even made that record outside Seattle where we ended up only feeling more disconnected. We eventually decided to take some time away and get some perspective."

A clean break can be cathartic – but never a guarantee that the players will reconvene on the same page. The band promised themselves before gathering for this album that getting back into that rehearsal room with their collective ‘headspace' intact was priority number one. "There was just a feeling in the air that we were going to come hard on this one," says Lewis. "We even gathered 3 weeks prior, in a rehearsal space in L.A. before we were scheduled to record, which was unusual for us. The fire in the belly was back." And as fate would have it, inspirational flames were also heating up the 10 Years furnace courtesy of the rehearsal room next door. "They probably don't even know what it meant to us, but Rage Against The Machine was playing in the room next to us," says Jesse. "We could just feel the sound coming out of the there. You have to understand, they, along with bands like Metallica and Nirvana and the Deftones were what we grew up on. To hear them killing it like that – I know it affected us."

Lewis says the enthusiasm was palpable. "We were like kids, saying "'God, did you just hear that?' I realized everything that was coming out of them was so riff- heavy. Our album was heading in that same direction. It was like a sign. We were so pumped. We arrived in LA with songs already written, yet here we were, so inspired, I bet we wrote five more in there that ended up on the album. We were on a mission on this one.

A communal slugfest that also ended up being their most collaborative effort. "The way we write has always been an open door," says Jesse. "We just kicked it down this time. Brian would bring in a guitar part, or I'd have some verses, but we were more methodical. We even went down a lot of avenues that didn't end up on the record, but we went down them all together." Such crucial threads are pulled tight on songs like the bristling "Shoot It Out," fanning the ‘feeding the wolves' premise that came to represent some of the band's ferocious themes on the new album. "We're not just talking about the stereotypical ‘wolves' in the music industry," says Jesse. "Everybody on the planet has bigger dreams than just sitting around waiting to die. Sometimes you have to put yourself on the line for those dreams. You are out there – but so are the 'wolves' waiting to feed." "And they can bleed you dry," adds Lewis. Jesse confirms it was easy to work on that song as a band because the group was so in sync with the motivation behind it. "We've been through the ringer, where if you give people an inch they will take a mile," he says. Another song that throws down the 10 Years gauntlet is the impenetrable "Fix Me." "I think it's going to be one of the songs that grabs people from the start," says Lewis – fueled by lyrics that just may be slyly revealing the 10 Years hidden-code: ‘I'm fine in the fire/I feed on the friction/I'm right where I should be/Don't try and fix me…/ If there has ever been a band comfortable about being appreciated solely on its merits – about being accepted ‘as is,' that band is 10 Years. Ever since 2001, when the group replaced their original vocalist with Jesse Hasek, 10 Years seemed to sense that being armed with signature sound and fury would eventually gain them one of the most loyal audiences in rock. In 2004, they released the indie missile Killing All That Holds You, featuring the now-classic "Wasteland" and "Through the Iris," and netted them their major label debut with Universal Republic. Their acclaimed 2005 effort, The Autumn Effect, snagged them massive radio and video play, established their rabid audience, and handed them prime touring spots with bands such as Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Mudvayne and Sevendust. Later, torrid live-runs with Linkin Park, Korn and the Deftones, further cemented their reputation as one of the most credible live acts of the decade. Division arrived in 2008, with the aforementioned trials mentioned by Lewis, and a baptism via rock n' roll bullshit that might have annihilated lesser bands. "No need to go into it," says Jesse. "It's why I take my little digital recorder around. I'm always observing, always getting ideas. I find a corner and get ‘em down on tape. If I'm lucky, they sometimes blossom into songs." Known as a wordsmith who can hang with the best of them, but for also leaving room for the listener to interpret his riveting observations wrapped around the

scorching guitar treads of band co-founder Brian Vodinh, Hasek has also been humbled by simply being around his first child. "Change isn't always bad," he says. "Most of the changes we have gone through have made us better people and a better band. The band-part takes all of us working hard to make the kind of music we know we are capable of. I think we did that on this one."

Lewis says it was all about coming to the same conclusion without making any pronouncements. "It's the most cooperative thing we've ever done by far. It's like we all had the same epiphany without really having to talk about it too much. You'd be cheating yourself if you don't sit down and listen to the entire album. . We left it all there for everyone to hear."

Upcoming Events for Seether

Change isn't easy. But Seether vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Shaun Morgan understands that nothing worth accomplishing ever is. "When I was in rehab in 2006," he recalls, embracing a sense of humorous selfawareness that comes with hindsight, "I learned that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." In other words: evolution is key not only to surviving but also thriving. It's a way of thinking that Morgan applies to both himself and to the way his band operates. In a career that's spanned nearly a decade, the power trio of Morgan, bassist Dale Stewart and drummer John Humphrey that is collectively known as Seether has toured the globe on the strength of five Gold and Platinum-selling albums: steadily growing a devoted fan base while continually pushing creative boundaries. Seether breaks new ground again with its fifth studio LP, Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray, due out on Wind Up Records in May 2011.

As fans and critics are about to hear, change is good. Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray further expands on the dynamic musical growth curve heard on Seether's 2007 release, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, while maintaining a sonic imprint that is undeniably Seether. There are many reasons to be excited. Not only does Seether branch out stylistically on the album's first single, "Country Song" which blends a buoyant, aurally addictive hook with the band's signature searing guitar work, but the singer's striking new vocal approach is audible from the album's exhilarating lead track, "No Resolution." Morgan explains, "On this album, I didn't scream very much, because that's not what I wanted to do. For some of the songs, the sentiment behind the lyric wasn't angry, therefore to sing it in an angry way didn't make any sense to me. The gritty stuff is easy to do, but it also feels really great to convey emotionally, through my voice, what I'm trying to say, instead of just being a one trick pony." The result is a collection of compelling vocal performances that conjure an appealing blend of two of Morgan's chief influences, Kurt Cobain and Tool's Maynard James Keenan. It makes Strings an immensely satisfying listening experience. Looking back on Seether's career path, it's not surprising that the band has progressed to this juncture.

Originally founded in Johannesburg, South Africa, by Morgan and Dale Stewart, Seether made its initial impact on U. S. hearts and eardrums with 2002's Disclaimer. The album's first single, "Fine Again" was a pensive ballad whose minor chord message of sustaining hope amidst turmoil resonated with fans worldwide. "Fine Again" was featured on the soundtrack to the popular video game Madden 2000, and Seether gained nationwide live exposure with a spot on that year's Ozzfest tour. After releasing the singles "Driven Under" and "Gasoline," Seether rerecorded the acoustic track "Broken" as an electric version featuring Evanescence vocalist Amy Lee. "Broken" became a massive international hit for the group. In 2004, Seether remixed and remastered Disclaimer, adding eight new songs and new cover art to create the two-disc set Disclaimer 2, which went Platinum. In 2005, Seether released Karma & Effect (the band's only album recorded with guitarist Pat Callahan), which debuted at #8 on the Billboard chart. "Karma & Effect is my favorite representation of us at radio," Morgan offers. "The singles we'd released previously were ballads, but this time, we chose "Remedy," "Truth" and "The Gift" as singles. Those songs, and their accompanying videos, were darker and more ominous, so we knew that fans coming to our shows wouldn't be surprised when the band was actually playing loud, heavy music." Morgan credits the album with solidifying Seether's identity as a hard rock act. At this point, the band was promoting itself at radio stations; performing brief, "un-plugged" sessions for fans. From that effort, a demand grew for recorded copies of those acoustic songs. "We decided that we would record a live, acoustic album during one night off ontour and see what happened," says Morgan. That set, recorded at a Philadelphia pub, became the live CD/DVD One Cold Night, released in 2006.

As a songwriter whose work has always been intimate and self-revelatory, Morgan continued to address his personal demons while also sharing his more optimistic, post-rehab attitude on 2007's Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. Debuting at #9 on the Billboard 200 chart, Pop Matters referred to the album as "Seether's tour de force" and "their most direct and focused record yet." The singles "Fake It" and "Rise Above This" reached the top position on several Billboard charts, and "Breakdown" charted as a Top 10 hit. Finding Beauty was reissued in 2009, with a cover of George Michael's "Careless Whisper," which was a successful single release.

Recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Seether definitely had an all-star player on its team for Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray in the form of producer Brendan O' Brien (Rage Against the Machine, AC/DC, Pearl Jam). "Brendan is one of the ultimate producers in the world," Morgan enthuses. "He really worked with us instead of with his own agenda. As far as producers go these days, that's not very common. He doesn't have an ego, he just cares about the project at hand and how we're going to make it the best album possible, because he's putting his name on it, too." Humphrey believes that O'Brien is the most effective producer the band has worked with to date. "Brendan has a great ear and he's also a great musician," says the drummer. "He can really articulate the changes he wants you to make to a song." Morgan also credits O'Brien for encouraging him to go with clear vocals. "I've wanted to sing clearer on albums before, and producers have said, ˜No, do that gritty thing that you're known for.' Brendan was the first guy who said, " Dude, sing the way you want to sing.'"

Seether fans identify the band with songs that are not only sonically heavy but which also carry a lyrical emotional heft. Rest assured that those qualities are still intact on Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray. "Down" providing a fantastic showcase for John Humphrey's Bonham-esque drumming, along with "Desire for Need" (on which Morgan falls back on the aggressive vocal delivery) prove that Seether have not strayed too far from what fans recognize as the band's aural identity. "Master of Disaster" also retains the original Seether imprint while introducing new musical elements, which the band set out to do with each song, "so people wouldn't know what to expect," Morgan interjects. "When we make a new album, it has to be superior to the previous one; otherwise we're wasting everyone's time. We had to be a little bit more experimental and creative, but by the same token we had to stick to our roots and the sound that people initially were drawn to. So, you walk that line, but you make it work."

Lyrically, Morgan is as upfront as he's ever been. "In our songs, I deal with a lot of personal issues and ghosts that follow me around. With each album, I tend to catch up a bit more on these ghosts and get rid of some of them." Morgan explains that this time out, it's all about the freedom found in just letting go. "I'm dealing with issues that I've been carrying with me for a long time, and understanding that those are detrimental to me and to those around me. Once you identify something that's toxic in your life, you have to ask why you're perpetuating it: clutching at a situation that's ultimately going to end up in heartbreak and tears. It's history, you need to let it go. Once you do that, it's such a weight off your chest. It sounds a little bit like hippie psychology, but if you focus on thinking positive things, then good things will start showing themselves to you."

Asked which tracks are favorites, Morgan talks about "Tonight," which almost didn't make it onto the album. "I hadn't even shown it to the band yet," he explains, "but one morning I woke up before dawn, in a really good mood, and completely changed the lyrics to positive lyrics. It just started coming together. Later that day in the studio, I asked Brendan to check it out. We only had two days left in the studio, but Brendan said, "We've got to record that song right now.' I think it captures and summarizes the hopeful sentiment of the album." Stewart shares Morgan's enthusiasm. "Tonight" is almost nostalgic, yet optimistic sounding. It's a really strong song and I'm excited for it to possibly go to radio. I think it could be a big song for us."

Another favorite is "Roses", also a clear choice for a single that Morgan claims was influenced by the band Muse. "I love how it starts with the very ominous Phantom of the Opera piano, and then goes into something completely different, with constant movement," he says. The band is also proud of "Here and Now," a modern rocker infused with a classic pop feel that might fit easily within the discography of Cheap Trick. "We wanted to write songs that would stand the test of time rather than just be music "of the now', meaning what is popular in this particular two- or three-year cycle" Morgan explains. "Here and Now" also features the lyrics from which the album title was culled.

With the album due out in the spring, Shaun Morgan, Dale Stewart and John Humphrey are all immensely proud of and excited about what they've achieved with Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray. "This album is a progression from Finding Beauty, which I thought was the best thing we'd done up to that point," says Stewart. "To make a record that's going to be even better is a little daunting, but I think this album shows that the band has matured in the way we write and think about music." "This album was a lot of fun to make," Humphrey adds. "It was very much a collaborative project where there were no egos." Morgan concludes "To still be able to record, sell albums and tour, when a lot of our peers have not been so lucky, is a gift. Ultimately, making this album has helped me through the next phase of my life. For anyone who has been with us this far and needs a new injection of Seether's music, this will hopefully feed their desire."

Upcoming Events for Shinedown

After touring for 23 months and playing more than 400 shows, you'd think the four members of Shinedown would want to rest. They did. For about two weeks.

Then it was back into the studio to start work on US AND THEM, the hard-rocking Jacksonville, Fla., band's second album and the follow-up to their 2003 platinum debut, LEAVE A WHISPER. 'We took two weeks off and then went right back into the studio. We basically wrote every song from scratch and recorded it, and here we are now with a new album,' says frontman Brent Smith.

That should tell you exactly what you need to know about Shinedown. Smith and his bandmates – guitarist Jasin Todd, bassist Brad Stewart, and drummer Barry Kerch – don't want to do anything but rock. For them, writing, recording, and touring go beyond overused terms like 'passion' and 'commitment' and are, in fact, their reasons for being. They have a lot to say and a lot to play, so it should be no surprise that they only needed enough time to do the laundry and maybe catch a little extra sleep before the desire to make more music brought them back together.

Then again, LEAVE A WHISPER was the kind of album that would energize any band. It was one of those ubiquitous, won't-go-away records, spawning radio hits such as 'Fly From the Inside,' the controversial social commentary '45,' and a remake of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Simple Man,' a crowd-pleasing nod to their sweet home Florida roots.

But it was on tour that Shinedown really established themselves following the release of LEAVE A WHISPER. The tireless group shared stages with Van Halen, 3 Doors Down, Tantric, Saliva, and Life of Agony during their run on the road. And it was there that Smith says Shinedown recognized just what kind of band they were.

'On our first record, we didn't really know who we were,' the singer explains. 'We were just four individuals who came together, were in the studio for two years, and had never played together live. When we got in a room together, it was extremely powerful and extremely passionate. And when we did that on stage, we just became this... machine. We became the band we wanted to be.'

Shinedown also became a band people wanted to hear, and Smith thinks he knows the reason. 'I said this from day one: if I had to describe the band in one word, it would be honest. There's no sugarcoating anything. We deal with the issues in the songs head-on. We talk about the things we go through in life and we make them very up-front. We've tapped into something that's extremely unique, with the human spirit as a guide.' That was the force that guided Shinedown as they started working on the songs for US AND THEM in June of 2005 in Jacksonville and Orlando, Fla. Starting with a completely blank page, the group wrote 23 songs, recorded 17, and chose 12 for the final version of the album.

The growth is obvious – from the heart-starting bass roll of the first single, 'Save Me,' through the crashing end of the stomping rocker, 'Heroes.' It's evident what those 23 months on the road did for Shinedown; the performances on US AND THEM are taut and muscular, with soaring dynamics that make each song a keep-your-hands-inside-the-car kind of thrill ride. Tracks such as 'Beyond the Sun,' 'I Dare You,' and 'Some Day' start gently and carefully swell to anthemic proportions. 'Your Majesty' drives with stuttering urgency, while the trippy 'Lady So Divine' (think about a similar L-S-D title by the Beatles) is highlighted by an epic guitar break by Todd.

'I think we made one of the biggest-sounding records in the world,' Smith says, and he doesn't spare in crediting producer Tony Battaglia, another Florida denizen, for that sonic achievement. 'He's amazing; his vision and his musical sensibility are incredible,' Smith says. 'His drive and his passion are incredible. The man's take on music is so simple it's almost elementary. He treats the music like a child, almost.'

Smith can relate to that; he refers to his songs as 'my children' and puts a kind of nurturing care into the way he crafts them. 'When I wake up in the morning,' he explains, 'I say 'I hope today I don't fall short of genius.' People will ask me, 'What does that mean?' It's just that I want to try and figure out a way to be supportive of the human spirit. It's an amazing thing to have the gift of being able to play music. It's not my job, it's my honor.'

While conventional wisdom dictates that you have your whole life to write your first album and just weeks to write the second, Smith begs to differ. 'I had more to talk about on the second record than I did on the first record,' he notes. And though they were written back at home, Smith says many of the new songs were inspired by Shinedown's travels – whether ruminations about his own state of being or reflections about the people and stories he encountered on the road.

'I wanted to talk about what I saw,' Smith explains. 'There are so many songs about fans and the people I talked to, and their lives and their relationships. They're just the most incredible people in the world, but they have so many serious, serious problems to deal with. I wanted to talk about those things. In a way, I feel like I took what they couldn't talk about and hopefully I wrote down what they felt. So when the album comes out and they hear the songs, they'll be able to look at themselves and say, 'He said everything that I wanted to say.'

That, he adds, is why Shinedown decided to call the album US AND THEM. 'It's a dedication to our fans,' Smith says, 'a thank-you to them for the support, for everything they've given us, and for being there from day one. It's US AND THEM.'

The songs aren't just about Smith’s and Shinedown's fans, however. Bassist Stewart's firefighter brother provided a third-party inspiration for 'I Dare You,' while 'Heroes' is Smith's tribute to 'badasses' throughout history. And 'Save Me' poured directly from Smith's own head and heart. 'At the time when I got off the road I wasn't necessarily in the most positive situation,' he confesses. 'I dealt with a lot of problems. I'm not really talking about drugs and substances; I’m talking about all the demons that you hide in your closet, the things you have to go through in life. And it's more of a cry for help; it's basically saying, 'You know what? I'm a strong person. I can deal with a lot, but at this very moment I need someone to help me. I'm having a hard time being a strong person.'

For those moments, however, Smith knows he has the backing of his band, whether it's in a general sense or in moments like Stewart diving in to help the singer overcome a bit of writer's block with the musical idea for 'I Dare You.' Shinedown's brightest feature is that this is a band, one in which four musicians combine to form a single identity that knits their diverse individual personalities into a seamless force, one that's greater than the proverbial sum of its parts.

'We're all different, and somehow we make a match,' Smith agrees. 'Nobody's singled out as the superstar or 'This guy' or 'That guy.' It's about a unity, a brotherhood, and about sharing what we've all been through and being able to take it to the stage.'

Which, by the way, is where Shinedown will be taking it, again, as the new album reaches the 'them' that US AND THEM is all about.

Upcoming Events for Powerman 5000

The Boston-based underground metal band Powerman 5000 earned a popular cult following along the East Coast with the release of their 1995 indie-debut The Blood Splat Rating System, which appeared on Conscience Records. Two years later, the band moved to Dreamworks, where they released a revamped version of their debut as Mega Kung Fu Radio. True Force followed in 1997, and two years later Powerman 5000 returned with Tonight the Stars Revolt. The haulted release of a since aborted album entitled Anyone for Doomsday? signaled the departure of longtime bassist Dorian Heartsong and drummer Alan Pahanish in early November of 2001. A year later, drummer Adrian Ost was added to the group; bassist Siggy Siursen joined 40 audtions later before 2002 came to a close and Powerman 5000 were in full effect. Transform, their fourth album, marked the band's new sound and new lineup when it was released in spring 2003. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide

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