Some of the bands covered here.

Some of the bands covered here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Chevelle, Middle Class Rut and Nothing More at The Orbit Room

Metal Axe Gallery of concert photos and coverage.
Live Concert Review and Interview: Chevelle, Middle Class Rut and
Nothing More

Chevelle supporting their album, La Gargola bringing with them Middle Class Rut and Nothing More to The Orbit Room, Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday April 21. Chevelle, Middle Class Rut and Nothing More drew in the crowd at The Orbit Room. The line stretched throughout the parking lot braving the of and on rain showers. The loyal rock fans found it was well worth the wait and getting a little wet.

To see a band live is the true test of how good they are. With the La Gargola album the hit “Take Out The Gunman” keeps you caught up and grabs you and shakes you around by your ears. When you hear this song it make you want more with the heavy chugs on the bass to the great vocals and guitar. Then to top it off the thundering drums.

Can a band do a live show and make you forget about the everyday worries in life? You get caught up in the music and the moment and everything else can just be put on hold. That is the key to great music and live shows is having bands that can perform live great.

Chevelle formed in 1995 with their first album, The Blue Album and Point #1 that captured peoples attention. The the amazing rock trio was founded by Pete Loffler (lead guitar and vocals), Sam Loffler on (drums and percussion) and Joe Loffler on (bass and backup vocals). Joe Loffler in 2005 left the band, Geno Lenardo subbed-in until he was replaced by Dean Bernardini the current (bass and backup vocals).

Since the forming of Chevelle has had many great albums Wonder What's Next, This Type Of Thinking (Could Do In), Vena Sera, Sci-Fi Crimes, Hats Off To The Bull, Stray Arrows and now La Gargola album. In the Wonder What's Next album the song “Send The Pain Below” really caught my attention out of everything playing on the radio at that time. The first thing I could think of is that Chevelle was going to be one of my favorite bands and hoped they would keep creating great music.

The band kept creating great music with every album. After covering Chevelle at the 2012 Hats Off To The Bull tour at Rock The Rapids in Grand Rapids, Michigan I knew they would keep making amazing, great quality rock and roll. The song “ Face To The Floor” grabs you by the ears and shakes you around and does not let go.

Can a band do a live show and make you forget about the everyday worries in life? You get caught up in the music and the moment and everything else can just be put on hold. That is the key to great music and live shows is having bands that can perform live great.

Middle Class Rut was the second band on stage. This amazing duo grabbed the crowd attention and kept it. One thing you would think of is how hard it is to have only two people play in a band and sound so good. But they pulled it off at The Orbit Room with a packed crowd enjoying their music.

Middle Class Rut formed in December of 2006 consisting of Zack Lopez on (vocals and guitar) and Sean Stockham on (vocals and drums). After a few EP's the first full album release was in 2010 titled No Name No Color. Then making it to the present album Pick Up Your Head which came out in 2013.

The most memorable songs from Middle Class Rut are “All Walks Of Life”, “I Guess You Could Say”, “New Low”, “Busy Being Born”, “Are You On Your Way”, “Aunt Betty” and “Dead Eye”.
The song “New Low” always captures my attention when it was played on the radio.

Nothing More founded in 2003 consisting of Jonny Hawkins (lead vocals and aux drums), Daniel Oliver (bass and backup vocals), Mark Vollelunga (guitar and backup vocals) and Paul Obrien on (drums). The first band in the line up has the task of warming up the crowd to keep them going until the next band. Nothing More took on an amazing task of three of the band members playing one bass at the same time and sounded great.

Another great part of the show was when Johnny Hawkins and Paul Obrien played dual drums on stage. Songs from Nothing More include “This Is The Time”, “Salem”, “Bullets And Blue Eyes” and “Fell In Love With A Ghost” caught my attention.

Interview with Johnny Hawkins:

Dan and Andrew: Out of all the venues coming up on tour which one is the most anticipated and why?

Jonny: The House Of Blues in Chicago because it's kind legendary because Jimmy Hendrix played there. And the Fillmore I have heard a lot about, never been there never played there. I can't narrow it down to one venue. Since we have touring with Chevelle there has not been one bad venue.
Dan and Andrew: What styles of music does your band like listening to to relax?

Jonny: Ahh there is some funny stuff you would never guess, some Harry Belafonte. He's fun to have in the background while we are cooking dinner. He has unique vocals no one else sounds like him. When we are chilling we like more dreamy stuff like Radio Head or Nick Drake from the 1960's just acoustic guitar it's like you can really zone out to it and relax.
Dan and Andrew: What music do you listen to going cruising?

Dan and Andrew: When creating music what comes first the music or the lyrics?

Jonny: That is a good question, it happens both ways for us. In our new album each song is written very differently. We did not have the same process for each song.

A lot of them had like random music parts and we started mixing and matching. Our guitar player Mark and myself had a lot of random things like riffs or like this ideas or lyrics. All of us come up with like poetry and have a mix and match game. Sometimes the music comes first and we feel the emotion behind what the music sounds like. Some of the lyrics telling a story we can relate to.
Dan and Andrew: What bands are you band's influences?

Jonny: We listen to a wide range of things because each person in the band is an individual. There is a band called Dredge that I was in to. It's an anbient kind of rock kind of dreamy. We listened to a lot of Rage Against The Machine we like the riffs and the attitude of the music. We also listen to a lot of Muse and a lot of Deftones too. Besides band influencing us I look outside of music I listen to philosophy recordings Allen Watts lectures from the 1940's to 1960's era. We take some of his recordings and mix it up with the music. I think it's nice to reach outside of music and make it music. You can totally different inspiration from reaching outside of music like make art into music.

Dan and Andrew: Are there other family members that also do music??

Johnny: I think Daniel our bass player came from a musical family his dad is a really good guitar player. My mom was a painter and played a little piano that's the visual influences came from the art and make it into music. It's all about the same it comes from the core of yourself.

Dan and Andrew: What do you do on tour besides play music?

Jonny: Honestly this tour has been so hectic that when we have a day off. We literally are doing laundry and cleaning. Watch a lot of television shows like Breaking Bad, Game Of Thrones, Dexter and Walking Dead.
Dan and Andrew: Where did you think up the band title?

Jonny: Early high school my guitar player Mark which two years older than me. I remember sitting on his stairs at his house. We tried to come up with a name it seemed like went through about 60 different names. None of them worked I do not know how but at one point it popped into my head Nothing More. The name was a reminder at that young of an age that we saw in the future. No matter how much success we have or how far we go with it that we always remember that we are always nothing more. that we are just people that play instruments and happen to be on stage. We happen to be in the spot light in this moment but at the end of the day we are nothing more than anyone else.
Dan and Andrew: What big band took you on tour to become more well known?

Jonny: We got a little of that kind of love from Sevendust. Chevelle has really been good to us. We did a date with Korn and we did some dates with Adrenaline Mob. But this is the main big tour.
Dan and Andrew: Family and friends that support you?

Jonny: Honestly we would not be able to do what we are doing without family and friends supporting us. All the little things they do are important keep in touch with us. Sometimes they will give us a warm meal or some gift cards all those little things support you and show they care.

Dan and Andrew: What is your favorite song to play and why?

Jonny: I think my favorite song to play is Salem. It's the big burn the witch chant. The reason why for me is because the whole band gets on drums and start this big cadence. I was a drummer since seven year old. I've been a drummer longer than I have been singing so the drumming is deep in my soul.

Nothing More set-list:
This Is The Time (ballast)
Christ Copyright
60 Second Affair
Bass solo
Mr. Mtv

All three bands were amazing their own way unique and sounded great either of the band we would be happy to see over and over again.
By Dan and Andrew Spratt 04-26-2014

Tour dates:

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