Hinder, the multi-platinum Oklahoma City rockers, are gearing up for their fifth studio album When the Smoke Clears (set for release via The End Records/ADA this spring).
Singalong anthems, such as “Get Stoned” and “Lips Of An Angel,” shot them to megastardom, establishing Hinder as the next wave in anthemic rock. Now with over a decade-plus career under their belts, and having honed their live chops touring with the likes of Mötley Crüe, Nickelback, Aerosmith, and Papa Roach, Hinder’s upcoming album with their official new lead vocalist Marshal Dutton has breathed new sound, and new air, into the ever-evolving band.
"We've made a really great record," said drummer Cody Hanson. "Once the fans get a hold of it, they will be very happy with it. This band was built around a strong core of hard work and friendship. Like it or not, we're going to be around for a long time."
The band, which released its debut Extreme Behavior in 2005, followed by 2008's Take It to the Limit, 2010's All American Nightmare, and 2012's Welcome to the Freak Show, has every reason to have that kind of unfettered confidence in the new album. They have an unfuckwithable foundation, one that is bolstered by true friendships and proven know-how when it comes to writing and recording songs.
The songs on When the Smoke Clears run the gamut from rowdy rock to subtle country influence to memorable pop hooks, all of which retain the DNA-distinct spirit of Hinder. That ability to walk the tightrope between genres, without a net, is something Hanson is proud of. "We can cross genres whenever we want," he said. "We don't want to be a band that can only do that one thing. We have something for everyone. We've always been that way. Having the ability to do our own production, having our own studio, gives us a chance to experiment and try new things."
"Hit the Ground" is a key song on the album, since the lyrical content is so genuine. "Through the years, we've been known as a party band," Hanson acknowledged. "That is still our thing, but we've lived every lyric in this song. We know what it feels like to have our entire world crash down around us. The song shows fans where we were mentally. And we know how true the last line of the chorus really is." The line he is referencing – the powerful statement that "Falling feels like flying 'til you hit the ground."
It was during the album cycle for their fourth album, 2012's Welcome to the Freak Show, when Hinder made the decision to part ways with longtime vocalist Austin Winkler. The band also left its longtime label digs at Republic Records and settled in at powerhouse indie label, The End Records.
What might seem like a time of uncertainty on paper was actually fueling the band's forward progress in reality.
Dutton, a part of the Hinder family since 2009, began co-writing/producing on the All American Nightmare album and has been a co-producer on every Hinder release since. He fell right in line, making the transition seamless without requiring any sort of learning curve or adjustment period, since Dutton was joining forces with a well-oiled machine, the members of which trust each other implicitly.
"Marshal has been helping mold the Hinder sound for several years,” says Hanson. “Whenever we're working together, everything just feels right and it clicks. We couldn't be happier to finally announce him as an official member."
Despite the period of change, it was actually the Hinder faithful that inspired the band to continue on – Hinder’s direct, personal connection to their fans that Hanson, Garvey, King, and Rodden worked diligently through the years to forge.
Hanson admitted, "We knew a change had to be made or we couldn't continue. We had fans reach out to us, asking us to figure out a way to keep going forward. That meant a lot to us. So we did what we had to do. The four of us have been playing music together for over a decade now. It's crazy to think we have spent as much time together as we have over the years and we're still such great friends. That's what sets this band apart. It's an amazing support system."
The fans are the only ones Hinder have to prove anything to. But Hinder know their audience and what their fans relate to, and they are confident that fans will respond to When the Smoke Clears. With a repository of hook-filled anthems that speak directly to their diehards, how could they not?
Nonpoint only becomes fiercer with each subsequent album. Their ninth full-length offering and first for Spinefarm Records, The Poison Red, is no exception either. After 19 years in the game, the Florida quintet sustains the same energy that sparked its foundation back in 1997. The riffs crack with neck-snapping intensity, the bass and drums forge an unmatched groove, and the vocals rapidly recount stories of pain and perseverance. The Poison Red remains as raw, ripping, and real as these musicians—Elias Soriano [vocals], Robb Rivera [drums], Rasheed Thomas [rhythm guitar], Adam Woloszyn [bass], and B.C. Kochmit [lead guitar]—get.
Nonpoint are on their way back with a new album this summer. The band will release The Poison Red on July 8 which was recorded in February 2016 at Uptown Studios in Chicago IL with Rob Ruccia.
In early 2016, Nonpoint closed out almost 2 years of touring behind 2014’s The Return record, which yielded the Active Rock radio hits “Breaking Skin” and “Misery”. Fueled by that continued success and their time on the road, they immediately began writing for album number nine. This time around, the band amped up the aggression musically, while Elias drew inspiration from a whole new well altogether.
The first single “Generation Idiot” is already making the rounds on radio. With some nifty guitar fret work at the beginning, it’s evident that Nonpoint are ready to rock. Frontman Elias Soriano gives the song plenty of aggression and attitude as he nimbly maneuvers around some rather tongue-twisty lyrics, setting all the Internet tough guys and text messaging fair-weather friends in their place.
“Over the past five years, I began to notice people, myself included, getting lost in a few of the simple things – life, art, passions,” Soriano explains. “Everything became a reality TV blog with pictures and comments, likes and dislikes, online bullies and online tough guys. And no one is talking anymore. Everything is texts, emails, replies and denies. They’re all anchors. They all suck the life out of life. It creates zombies with unhinged appetites. It’s a real zombie apocalypse and, motherfucker, I’m grabbing a machete and a shot gun.
“This record tells a lot of stories,” says Soriano about their new disc. “Going from guts to glory. Chasing impossible dreams down the rabbit hole. Harsh and honest words with consequences attached. Uncovered rules for the weak, made by the wicked and heartless. Recalling fight or flight moments with a deep breath. And it all starts with a warning to all the world’s generations past, present and future to look up, look forward and live their lives loose from social media shackles, online bullying, the devaluation of art and music, and to not be absorbed by the dramatic, megalomaniacal side of politics. Life is right outside of your phone and newsfeed. Go live it and play this record while you do. It’ll all start to make sense.”
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Koralyst burst upon the Birmingham, AL music scene in 2008. In a musical environment dominated by male fronted metal bands and dime a dozen cover bands, Koralyst brought forth a unique sound of hard rock music with a powerful front-woman taking center stage. The band presented themselves in front of as many people as possible by playing every show possible. The fierce work ethic worked, as the band found themselves packing out the more established clubs as a headlining act within a year of starting the band.
Unwilling to compromise to fit what others claim is the right way to 'make it' in the music business, Koralyst has definitely paved their own way. The band still doesn't play covers, except for an occasional Johnny Cash remake. The band also sticks to their guns on writing great personal songs. “We don't just throw lyrics out there to complete a song” says drummer Michael Knowles. He continues, “We write about stuff in our personal lives or about someone else's life that we know. We figure if the song is touching, or has a meaning to us then there are a million other people that have gone through the same situations and will be able to relate to us. Music should come from your heart, it should be real, and not about material things like money and cars.”
Vocalist Christa Knowles spent much of her late teenage years in the clubs, venting anger and frustrations through music. At only 17 years old when the band started, Christa has grown up in front of the eyes of adoring fans. Going through changes on stage and off, Christa has maintained her 'can't bring me down' attitude. No matter what changes have been made in the 5 years the band has been together, 2013 promises to overshadow anything the band has done in the past. Christa recently went in the studio to record vocals for the much anticipated new EP, and brought forth a fierceness that the band had never seen out of her. The EP promises to firmly plant the roots of Koralyst into the ground of the music world.
With a new EP on the way, the band doesn't stop there. Promising to soon take the stage to reclaim their dominance, the band also has their sights set on a new music video. The band will also continue to write and record new music. But will the popularity of other female fronted bands influence the direction of Koralyst's next move? Michael Knowles proclaims, “We are influenced by music, not any band in particular. We don't try to sound like any other band, or base our music from any other bands.” Koralyst promises to continue to bring fans high energy hard rock music. The seed has been planted, but the sound will continue to grow.