Wolves At The Gate, Message From Sylvia, Death Therapy
1011 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 16 and over
For Fans Of:
Day of Fire, Pillar Taproot, Third Day, Breaking Benjamin, Falling Up, Kids in the Way, Alter Bridge, Chevelle, Linkin Park
Over the last decade, RED has emerged as a career artist. Their honesty and transparency about who they are as human beings, what motivates and inspires them, and what they aim to accomplish with each step forward has established an army of loyal fans.
The band's success emerged through a pure emotional connection with their audience, the power of their live performances, and most importantly, the passionate, honest dedication of band members Michael Barnes, Anthony Armstrong, and Randy Armstrong. Michael offers, "There is a certain ache in the melody and passion of our music. I feel it can reach emotionally into the soul of the listener and open up places in their heart they didn't know existed. We wear our emotions on our sleeves, and are OK with who we are and telling others about the struggles we are facing." Anthony adds, "We deliver our music and message aggressively using themes of theatricality and delving into the darkest parts of our lives in order to bring out the good. We are relentless and will stop at nothing to deliver great music that will inspire and bring the best we've got in our performances.
The band's new album of Beauty and Rage is "about suffering and finding the beauty in that," says vocalist Michael. "No one in this world likes to suffer, myself included, but we only become the strong individuals we are today from the trials and hardships we faced in the past. I remember meeting a teenager on Winter Jam 2013 who had terminal cancer. He wanted to meet us because we were his favorite band. In a sense, you might consider this a tragedy since his life was going to be taken away from him at such an early age. What I saw was beauty in the way that he handled his illness. The teen was full of hope and spirit, and even in his last days he was encouraging others and wanting to give of himself to make a difference in this world. To me that is a testament of the Beauty that can be found in the Rage of life."
To Randy, "RED has always tried to challenge listeners to be real with themselves and confront their struggles head on." Anthony adds, "Our struggles as humans are the catalyst for us to experience both the beauty of life and the difficult times that bring rage and confusion. One can't exist without the other. It's okay for us to descend into the darkest parts of our souls to recognize and learn how to draw the beauty out of difficulty and character flaw."
The band's new repertoire captures this theme with intensity. The track "Part That's Holding On" represents the pain in losing a loved one or a relationship abandoned, exploring the feelings of grief alongside the beauty of memories that were shared, and holding on to that ideal utopia that was. "Darkest Part" dives into the emotions driven by a person needing salvation from the suffering of a deep seeded struggle within and the feelings of shame, guilt and rejection one might face when opening up to another individual. Anthony offers, "It's simply about being vulnerable. When you trust someone and show the demons you have hidden away in your life, there is a fear and likelihood of scaring someone away."
The song "Yours Again" exudes with emotion as Michael sings of reconciling again with what he once loved but lost, "Open up my eyes… I'm yours again." In the song "Gravity Lies" Michael offers, "This is a song of self discovery in the 'truth' that you always believed about yourself due to the opinions voiced by others, yet that 'truth' does not really speak into who you are in God."
For Randy, "Darkest Part," "Shadow and Soul" and "Part that's Holding On" most represent the realization of these recordings. "They are the most truthful dives into the human spirit we have ever attempted. As a band we have never been about pulling punches and these three songs are a punch in the throat. In the end we all have to find a way to hold on to what is right and what delivers the best version of ourselves."
Amongst the personal favorites for the band members, Michael points to "Shadow and Soul" which he offers was "the most challenging and satisfying song on the record. The ache and yearning in this song wrecks me every time." For Randy, "'Part That's Holding On' is a song that moves me just a little more than the others because it reminds me to hold on to that strength inside that is what keeps me from falling into darkness." As for his brother Anthony, "There isn't a single track on this record that isn't my favorite. They are all sacred to me in what they stand for."
There is a brotherhood – literally and figuratively – that has kept the band together for the past decade. Each individual contributes to the collective, broader vision of RED. Randy reflects, "We have been friends for 27 years and this is what we have always wanted to do. When we were kids we shared the same favorite bands. They moved us, they challenged us, and ultimately encouraged us to make change. That is our goal as a band. Music is for everyone." For Anthony, "We've been together for so long. Of course, sharing this experience in music with your twin brother is pretty incredible. We push each other and it's a juggernaut when it comes to being passionate about every aspect of our career as artists."
Michael offers a reveal of the greater concept at play thematically for of Beauty and Rage, sharing, "This record is very introspective, more than the last two albums, and it dives back into the days of our second album Innocence & Instinct. The concept for of Beauty and Rage is the dichotomy of good and evil, and finding Beauty out of things that we suffer within our lives. The visuals in the graphic novel and music video have these plague-masked creatures which represent the darkest evil that is inside of us trying to take us over." Randy elaborates, "When you are trying to reach people you don't do it with a match, you do it with the FIRE. With the visuals we came up with early this past year, we wanted to find a creative way to put the listener in a maze. The maze is this forest we found in Poland called 'The Crimson Forest.' The trees are black and the leaves turn red in the fall and drop to the ground leaving a blanket of red. It's such a beautiful, serene world that anyone could see the appeal. We draw in the listeners with these beautiful moments all over the album in the midst of the rage that represents the things that can and always go wrong in life, then we throw in some monsters (whom actually are ourselves) and they are chasing us constantly. The chase is the battle we all fight against ourselves."
As RED looks forward, Michael shares, "2015 will be a building year for us. I am feeling very confident in the music and hope the emotions in the songs will be realized and connect well with our audience and new listeners. My hopes for beyond would be that we would be able to show this record, in live set design, to its full capacity. We would love to maximize the world that we have created between the music, graphic novel, and bring it to the live stage. We want to put on a show that is unexpected and people will be talking about for years to come." Randy offers, "My hopes for 2015 and beyond are just to continue to make music that people will appreciate their whole life – music we can always be proud of because we were real."
Wolves At The Gate
There' s something special that happens when just the right people come together at just the right time with a like-minded goal. Such is the case with the rapidly emerging post-hardcore outfit Wolves at the Gate. "We aren't trying to appease anybody." says guitarist/vocalist Steve Cobucci, "If we never get to play music for a living, this is awesome." Saying this, Cobucci is speaking of the bands explosive "We Are The Ones" EP. However, with the imminent re-release of that EP via Solid State Records, things are about to get very busy for the enthusiastic 5 piece.
Originating from the small town of Cedarville Ohio, the men of Wolves at the Gate never saw themselves ending up here. Forming in 2008, each member was on a completely different track in life. While all attending college in Cedarville, music was a passion for each individual, but wasn't where they saw their lives going. "I got my degree in History Education." says Cobucci "Jeremy got his degree is communications, Ben got his degree in marketing and I actually taught high school history for a year" However, as it turned out, there was more in the cards for the hopeful college students than looking for a job after graduation. "I was always going to shows and seeing bands perform. I always loved being the listener. Listening to it so much though, I really wanted to create my own version of all the music I liked. Just to combine all the things I really appreciate about music." This drive led Cobucci to join with vocalist Colin Jones, bassist Ben Summers, guitarist Jeremy Steckel and drummer Ben Millhouse to form… Goodnight Doctor? Cobucci explains: "The first few shows we ever played we were called "Goodnight Doctor" That was a phrase my dad would say when he would stub his toe or bang his head on something and we thought that was hilarious, but when we realized we wanted to start trying to be a real band we wanted something that had a real meaning to it." And meaning they got. The origins of the name "Wolves at the Gate" are explained by Cobucci: "The name comes from the bible in Acts 20 24-32." He continues to explain the verse which is spoken in whole on the first track of the bands EP- "Toward the end of that passage Paul says that there will be a time that savage wolves will try to come in and try to distort the truth, and that's just what we see today. People not giving a clear depiction of the gospel, so as it says in our album, we aren't the wolves at the gate, we are the ones who face them."
From that point on, the band had a unified mindset, started writing better songs and set out to put their ideas to tape. The group jumped into recording their EP with an impassioned fervor. "It was pretty grueling." reminisces Cobucci, "We all worked full time jobs, so basically for about a month we would go to work, then be at the studio until 3 in the morning, then back to work at 7:30 in the morning." The result of this diligent schedule would become the exceptional "We Are The Ones" EP. An intense and equally moving piece of work, We Are The Ones is an exciting look at a band with creativity completely flowing out of them and striving to give it a proper outlet. The first track/intro does an exceptional job of setting the tone of what's to come while at the same time making the clearest statement possible about the hearts of the men playing the instruments. Next is Vapors- a high-energy assault right out of the gate before turning the corner with an ending of soaring vocal melodies and equally big guitar playing. The tracks following do an uncanny job of carrying the listener from one peak to an equally impressive and dynamic valley, all leading up to the closer Oh The Depths. This lead single from the EP holds a special place in the bands heart… as well as well as the hearts of some lucky fans as well. Cobucci explains: "I remember once we got the gang vocals done at the end of Oh The Depths, that was really special. We wanted to build a sense of community within the sound of it, so we posted on our Twitter and Facebook that if anyone wanted to come sing on our record to come on down. We posted it only about an hour before we wanted to track it, but there were over 30 people that showed up to sing. It was really special." This moment tops off a piece of work filled with an amount of urgency and feeling so big, that it can't help but shine through.
Looking forward to the future, Cobucci says the band is anticipating going different directions with their craft. "We are extremely proud of our EP, but we are all about our music progressing. It's not fair for the listener for us to keep doing the same thing with different chords. We are really looking forward to getting into a legitimate studio and working with people who are really going to push us." Already having music in the works for the future doesn't dampen the excitement that the band has to finally be able to showcase We Are The Ones on a bigger scale though, via a re-release from Solid State Records. "We got an email from Solid State and we didn't think it was real. We thought it was a mass email telling us to buy new albums or something.
We couldn't be more excited to be part of the family." The chance to have a more widespread audience and be able to spread their message to a growing number of people is something that couldn't come soon enough for these 5 Ohio natives. With a tone that can't hope to hide his excitement, Cobucci exclaims: "We just want to get on the road! We just want to get out there and support the EP as much as possible."
When the perfect group of people come together with an idea to create something, something bigger than themselves, something beyond any one of them individually, extraordinary things can happen. Something extraordinary has happened…in the form of Wolves at the Gate… and they're just getting started