Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Roxy Launch Project - Westwinds

Hailing from Delta BC, the Westwinds will be bringing their brand of Folk, roots and soul to the Roxy stage for the annual Roxy Launch Project. We had a quick chat with them about their upcoming performance.

Hammer Records: What made you enter the Roxy Launch Project?
Westwinds: We're poor kids with an expensive hobby. Not only will this competition be a great experience but a chance to record and produce a single of our own, which is not easily done in Vancouver by a bunch of twenty-somethings trying stay afloat...

Hammer Records: Which of the prizes are you most looking forward to?
Westwinds: Recording. Westwinds started out as a solo folk project by lead singer Gareth McDonnell, who released an EP last December. But since that short time ago, it has evolved into a soulful, energetic rock band with a new sound and look. It's really important to us to have our new material recorded so that we are properly represented in applying for shows, festivals, etc in the future.

Hammer Records: How are you going to get fans out to your show? Any special tactics?
Westwinds: Well were playing a few shows before the event, including one actually at The Roxy on June 25th. We hope to promote our showcase date of Aug.4th at these gigs as well as using our expertise on social media! But I'd like to get out on the streets to promote this one, it'll be really important to have a lot of support so I'm sure we'll get creative.

Hammer Records: Will you be doing anything special at the show?
Westwinds: We have some great new music we can't wait to share with everybody, we love giving away little homemade items with every merch purchase like baked goods and colouring pages, and we will be taking personalized Polaroid pictures with the band and our audience! There's some more things were thinking about up our sleeve as well.

Hammer Records: What do you think of battle of the band competitions around the city? Do they help build the scene?
Westwinds: As a new group in the Vancouver music scene, it's imperative to take advantage the opportunities our city provides. Especially with the amount of talent here. So these are one of the ways we can stick our heads out among the crowd and get noticed. I believe they do build the scene as every day more and more creative people are finding the means to express themselves through music, and inventing new genres and sounds we've never heard before. BOTB contests allow them the chance to showcase their talents and enlighten the crowd with their invention. All of this helps to make Vancouver's scene more built but with better diversity and range.

Hammer Records: What are some of your social media links? Where can people find your music?

Instagram:  westwinds_official

Saturday, June 25, 2016

#VancouverMusicians Song Showcase - Gabriela Geneva

We've started up, revisiting our #VancouverMusicians, but this time we are focusing on a song from each artist! We want to spread the best of Vancouver music as far as it can go!

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Roxy Launch Project - Kellen Saip

The Roxy Launch project is coming up soon and we wanted to chat with all the artists that will be battling it out this year! We spoke with Kellen Saip who will be performing on July 28th (click HERE for details), about his upcoming performance.

Hammer Records: What made you enter the Roxy Launch Project?
Kellen: I've played a few shows over at the old Roxy and I really dig the whole vibe of the place. It's getting tougher and tougher to find places to enjoy live real music ‎and the Roxy delivers giving all kinds of artists and genres a place to let loose. I know quite a few of the amazing bands entered this year so I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring.

Hammer Records: Which of the prizes are you most looking forward to?
Kellen:‎ All of them are super swell! There very generous but I'm honestly looking forward to just sharing the stage with some amazing talent and just having people hear some new material I've been working on the most,but hey I'll take some prizes if it comes down to that!

Hammer Records: How are you going to get fans out to your show? Any special tactics?
Kellen: I've been really plugging away at the Vancouver scene playing all over the place just trying to leave some sort of imprint on the folks that come see me play whether that be making them feel something from a ballad, making them tap their feet to a stomper or having a beer with me when it's all said a done! I feel apart of a pretty rad comunity in the local music scene so I'll be checking out a lot of the bands playing and in turn maybe they will catch a set!

Hammer Records: Will you be doing anything special at the show?
Kellen: I'm playing a lot of new material from an EP I will be releasing this month (Take Me Away) I dunno what really counts as special these days I'll be singing strumming and stomping my brains out but I won't be riding across the stage on a donkey while on fire or anything like that, that's more of a Jack Mercer thing ;)

Hammer Records: What do you think of battle of the band competitions around the city? Do they help build the scene?
Kellen: They absolutely build the scene there's a lot of love in Vancouver but it's getting tough to be a musician and have any sort of income to support a real life. My wife recently gave birth to my first daughter so it's really opening my eyes to the financial part of the industry. These events bring bands closer together help build friendships set up new show opportunities and give artists the tools they need to be heard.

Hammer Records: What are some of your social media links? Where can people find your music? 
Kellen Saip - youtube
Instagram - Kellen Saip
Twitter - KellenSaip

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Vancouver's Black Metal Art Exhibition 'BLACK' ft. Beste

Reminder - Next Week- June 10-19 Vancouver's Black Metal

Internationally renowned photographer Peter Beste and graphic artist Christophe Szpajdel will be featured in the first installation of Vancouver’s “Black”, The Black Metal Exhibition being held from June 11 - 19 at the Evergreen Cannabis Society (2868 West 4th Avenue).

"Black" has been conceived by local photographer Kevin Eisenlord, who has joined forces with Abelardo Mayoral, concert promoter at The Invisible Orange to materialize this event.
"I actually came in contact with Christophe through friends in black metal band Idolatry whom I had done pictures for and Peter is an icon in the black metal community in general, so I messaged him as I was really interested in a critic of my photos because he is one the most respected authorities in black metal photography. From there I have developed a friendship with both as I look up to their work and thus the reason for showcasing two of the world's great Black Metal artists in Vancouver, plus nothing like this has ever been held in the city before." comments Eisenlord.
The exhibition will feature the photography of Peter Beste, a documentary photographer based in Portland, Oregon and well known in the Metal community for his photography book “True Norwegian Black Metal”.
What: Black Metal inspired exhibition of photography and graphic art
When: June 11 to June 19 of 2016
Opening Ceremony on Friday June 10 at 6pm. Gallery exhibition open June 11 to June 19 from 11am to 8pm. Except Sunday June 19, gallery closes at 5pm.
Where: Evergreen Cannabis Society. 2868 West 4th Avenue. Vancouver, BC

PROJEKT F Posts New Video 'Unbegun'

Montreal industrial monsters PROJEKT F have posted a new video 'Unbegun' in support of their recently released EP 'The Butterfly Effect'. The EP is their loudest release to date featuring seven pinnacle tracks for your auditory senses discussing the torrid relationship between man and God to continue their thematic discography ‘Skins’ (2013) and ‘Under The Skin’ (2014).
''We consider 'The Butterfly Effect' to be an extremely raw and honest EP. Early in the process of making it, we knew that we would not be making a music video for it. However, we thought it was important to give something to our fans. So we decided to make a video that would show a side of Projekt F that hasn't been seen before. Like the EP, a raw and honest one. Many of you have seen our "on stage persona” before, but with this video that we have made for our single, "Unbegun", we are sharing a different side of ourselves.'' comments vocalist Jonh M. Miller.

In additional news, PROJEKT F will be headlining day 2 of the first edition of GothFest in Montreal, QC on June 19th at Katacombes. The festival features 14 dark bands from across Quebec, Ontario and New York. For full details, please visit the following link here.

VOW OF THORNS Announce Canadian Tour Dates

Canadian black metal doom fusionists VOW OF THORNS announce they will be hitting the road for a five-day tour of Ontario and Quebec with Minnesota's atmospheric black metallersAshbringerThe tour will kick off on July 12th in Montreal and wrap up on July 16th in London to support VOW OF THORNSupcoming album 'Farewell To The Sun' due out July 15th to follow the 2013 debut EP 'Forest Dweller'
Their first single and the album's opening track 'Meeting On The Astral Plane' is now streaming at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8kBC0qeuJ0 
Guitarist D. Richards comments on the track:

"'Meeting on the Astral Plane' tells the story of one man’s escape from physical reality to a place of infinite possibilities; an existence free of mortal boundaries. The escape, however, is only temporary and he must return to his lowly existence and face himself, which he does in the following track 'Great Abomination'. His experience on the astral plane leads him to believe that death may be the ultimate escape. As our protagonist’s experience progresses so does the music. From the triumphant march of the opening riff to the crushing doom encased ending." VOW OF THORNS have been conceptualizing albums and pushing the boundary between aggressive and emotional. What once served as an anagram for Kevin Hawthorne’s solo work is now a joint effort with Dustin Richards, where the duo has quickly become one of the most intimidating musical ventures to date. The duo have been constructing songs unanimously and without interruption in a seamless writing process to craft work fueled by their musical and environmental influences. Constantly shifting between disparaging black metal vocals and triumphant guitar hooks dripping with doom-encrusted bass riffs and theatrical drums. The band pairs the forces of black metal and doom, blending the two styles with ease while maintaining a certain sense of tension and uncertainty in the air. 

Tour Dates:
July 12 - Montreal, QC - Casa Del Popolo - info
July 13 - Oshawa, ON - The Atria - info
July 14 - Toronto, ON - Coalition T.O. - info
July 15 - Hamilton, ON - The Doors Pub - info
July 16 - London, ON - Old East Bar & Grill - info

WITHOUT MERCY Update Canadian Tour Dates

Currently on tour in support of their new EP 'Mouichido', Vancouver, BC's WITHOUT MERCY  have updated their Canadian dates, which includes a support slot with Threat Signal in Guelph, ON on June 23rd (full details below).

In additional news, last week WITHOUT MERCY teamed up with GearGods.net for the premiere of their guitar playthrough by DJ Temple for their track 'Burn', which can be viewed at the following link: http://geargods.net/playthrough/without-mercy-burn-on-this-savage-guitar-playthrough/ 
The band's new EP 'Mouichido' is a rebirth for the band as it's a re-release of re-recorded material from their 2014 EP 'Reborn''Mouichido' is the Japanese word for “Repeat” or “to do one more time” and is perfectly titled for the EP to signify its re-release of previously recorded versions that now feature new vocalist Alex Friis and bass tracks recorded by Tristan Martin plus live performance being done by Ryan Loewen along with a guest appearance by vocalist Mark Hunter of Chimaira on track 'In Waves'.
A full stream of 'Mouichido' can be heard at the following links below along with Canadian tour dates: 
BandcampDecibel Magazine

Tour Dates:
June 10 - Winnipeg, MB - The Windsor - info

June 11 - Brandon, MB - North Hill Inn - info

June 16 - Thunder Bay, ON - Black Pirate's Pub

June 17 - Sudbury, ON - The Asylum - info

June 18 - Oshawa, ON - The Diezel Room - info

June 19 - Woodstock, ON - Illusions Night Club - info

June 20 - Toronto, ON - Coalition T.O.

June 21 - Montreal, QC - Piranha Bar

June 22 - Sherbrooke, QC - Le Murdoch - info

*June 23 - Guelph, ON - Dstrct - info
June 25 - Timmins, ON - TBA

June 28 - Portage la Prairie, MB - Masonic Hall

June 29 - Regina, SK - TBA

June 30 - Medicine Hat, AB - TBA
July 1 - Prince George, BC - The Art Place
July 2 - Burns Lake, BC - The Dungeon
Jul 23 - SBC Restaurant - Vancouver, BC

SLUDGEHAMMER Pound The Fury With Debut Album 'The Fallen Sun'‏

Featuring eleven fist pounding tracks of dynamic vocal performances from lead vocalist Chris Szarota and bassist Dan Ayers, along with a showcase of mind bending guitar solos, heavy riffs and blistering drumming fury. Toronto, ON's SLUDGEHAMMER are proud to unleash their debut full length album 'The Fallen Sun' officially out now as of June 10th. The debut album is the follow up their 2014 EP 'Organ Harvester' and was self-produced by the band plus mixed by guitarist Tyler Williams along with mastering done by world renowned producer & engineer Lasse Lammert (Gloryhammer, Alestorm, Teramaze) at LSD Studio in Germany. 

"We're extremely happy to announce that "The Fallen Sun" is available today through bandcamp. Included are 9 brand new tracks that will get any metalhead's blood pumping. We had some fun in the studio and decided to record 2 bonus tracks that are also included on the album. We busted our asses with this one in the winter and we're super excited with how it turned out. Enjoy at high volumes please! Support the underground!" comments guitarist Jeff Wilson.

The album is available digitally and on CD at the following bandcamp link https://sludgehammermusic.bandcamp.com.

Friday, June 10, 2016

It Could Be You - The Fairest And Best

Many singers have sung about current events, politics, hard times. But only a few really get their message out beyond their followers. It takes a mixture of clever song writing, catchy hooks and good production in order to really get the song to travel as far as it can. "It Could Be You" by The Fairest And Best, has all of this. From the first note you know you are in for a journey.

Music is universal and I hope this songs travels and touches the lives of many affected by this tragedy. The song puts great the situation in a great perspective "it could be you", meaning would you care about the issue more if it was you? Of course you would. So why not give these human beings the same respect that you give yourself. Here is a little write up from the band's website:

We are really excited to share our new single, "It Could Be You"with you. 
It's a song that challenges us to assess our personal response to the worst refugee crisis since the last Great War.
That's really the main point isn't it? With all of the crazy things going on in the world, it could just as easily be you having to flee for your life. That's the idea of the song. We hope that this idea stirs you to get involved and to support other people - "people who just like you" - but are unlucky enough to be on the wrong side of fortune.

So, watch the video - listen to the words - and enjoy the song. If you then feel so inclined, please consider purchasing the single.All proceeds of the sale of this song go to International Red Cross for their work with refugees worldwide.

"...Do you really think it's true - when you say there's nothing we can do
When you know you'd never say that as a child?"

We  appreciate your interest in "It Could Be You".  We have been busy with our music lately! If you watch the Discovery Channel, NASCAR Network, or FOX Sports -  be on the lookout for our music. Fourteen other TV shows have also asked to use the songs from our new EP "When I Feel Like This".

As a band, we feel so strongly about refugee issues that we decided to donate all the proceeds of "It Could Be You" to The International Red Cross to support their work on behalf of refugees worldwide. The single was also funded by members of Resa's Pieces Singers, the choir that Robert directs (www.resaspieces.org). That's actually a story in itself. Read about it here. They also sing on the chorus and bridge of the song and are featured in the video - the link is below on the left. 

If you happen to want to also pick up some of the other great music that we've been working on along with "It Could Be You", you can do that too. There are two  bundles available - both have the option of a CD copy of our EP as well. The portion of the single will still be passed on to the refugee initiatives regardless of which bundle you choose.

Please share this link to your friends and colleagues - we really hope to raise a lot of money for this important cause.

Thank you for your support!

So please do what you can to help out this great cause and spread this song, support the band and most of all, support the refugees.