With approximately 60 bands playing on five stages over three days, it would've been a crime if San Antonio wasn't represented at Knotfest. Fortunately, that won't be an issue thanks to a pair of bands more than making a name for themselves.
- They will be playing Slipknot's Oct. 24-26 festival in the California desert of San Bernardino. Both bands hit the stage Sunday, Oct. 26, with Nothing More on the second stage, and Upon A Burning Body on the third (tickets and info here).
- Neither group is a stranger to festivals. Upon A Burning Body has played on the Vans Warped tour and this past weekend completed another trek on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival which, incidentally, kicked off at the San Manuel Amphitheater -- where Knotfest takes place. Nothing More will be playing another California festival, Aftershock, on Sept. 13 in Sacramento for the second consecutive year.
- Both bands have, or will be, touring with Five Finger Death Punch. UABB not only toured Europe with 5FDP, but the San Antonians received multiple endorsements from 5FDP bassist Chris Kael during an exclusive interview with the SAMME last summer (watch here). Nothing More will hit the road with 5FDP next month.
Not to be outdone, both bands will be playing their hometown this month. Here's a breakdown:
UPON A BURNING BODY
Today marks a big day for the metalcore/deathcore band and its homegrown fans. The group's third album, The World Is My Enemy Now, is out (stream here), and that only begins the celebration.
Singer Danny Leal, guitarists Ruben Alvarez and Sal Dominguez, bassist Rey Martinez and drummer Tito Felix will be doing an in-store signing at 4 p.m. today at Flipside Records (840 SW Military Dr.). From there, it's off to the White Rabbit (2410 N. St. Mary's) for a CD release concert party. Doors open at 6 p.m. for ages 10 and up. The show is billed as "first come first served," with tickets going for $12 at the door only. The price includes a copy of the new CD.
That's on the heels of an opening slot the band performed Friday night in support of Trivium at Backstage Live.
“This new album is the answer to everyone who said we couldn’t succeed and to everyone who has attacked us," Leal said in a press release. "We've had to fight for what we believe in and have been held down for too long, The World Is My Enemy Now. It has the best elements of the last two records with the mindset of pushing the limits and stepping it up to a new level across the board. This record has everything and really shows the dynamics of UABB."
Time will tell if Upon A Burning Body will be remembered more for something else.
Last month, the band announced via its social media outlets that Leal had gone missing (click here). It proved to be nothing more than a publicity stunt in an effort to promote the new music. But it didn't come without its share of consequences -- not the least of which had some people in San Antonio phoning local law enforcement about a possible Missing Persons situation.
Ash Avildsen, the founder of the band's label Sumerian Records, admonished the group for its tactics while demanding an apology. Scores of fans have taken to the group's Facebook page and flooded it with condescending "gone missing" jokes. A small handful of those fans have pledged not to be interested in anything the band does going forward, while many others appear to be indifferent and/or still supportive of the group.
In an article published Aug. 3 in the San Antonio Express-News, Leal told Lorne Chan -- a longtime and current colleague of the SAMME's at the newspaper -- that he would not answer questions pertaining to the hoax.
It only requires one look at the new song titles and one listen to a bulk of the lyrics on the disc -- not a rocket scientist -- to decipher where the band is coming from. If it was UABB's goal to make itself a love-em-or-hate-em unit, then mission accomplished. Just in case the title track isn't convincing enough, CD finale Middle Finger to the World leaves no doubt. Even the most melodic part of the CD, the line "If you're not with us, you're against us" on Blood, Sweat and Tears, which is accompanied by the background vocal help of Trivium's Matt Heafy, spews rebellion.
Leal's vocals make Upon A Burning Body one of the few metalcore bands you can understand without the aid of a lyric sheet. Here's a further sampling of the new album's defiant lyrics:
- Red Razor Wrists: "I'm not sorry for the way that I am" is the CD's opening line. The verse, "When you've never had anything, how far would you go to have it all," speaks volumes about the publicity stunt.
- Scars: "Stop forcing your standards upon me. Stop, because I'm better than you'll ever be."
- The New Breed: "I'm not one to run my mouth. When fist comes to fist, I'll put you on the ground. I've had enough of your B.S. . . . ready or not, we are the new breed. We are the new scene. Step up, step up or get the f--- out the way, punk!"
- Judgement (which features the best guitar solo on the disc): "I refuse to be the victim. I've been on trial all my life . . I don't believe in this world anymore."
Yet even with the disc's abundance of angst -- and isn't that what metal partially stands for anyway? -- it's not completely devoid of stand-up-for-yourself statements. That's evidenced on I've Earned My Time with, "I remember where I came from and where I have been," as well as the aforementioned Middle Finger to the World's, "Fight fire with fire when the odds are stacked. Fight fire with fire, and don't look back."
Leal added in the press release: "We want to leave our definitive mark on the scene with this record, and want to be remembered as one of the greatest metal bands of our time.”
Whether you approve of their methods or not, the first part of that statement has already rung true. The second part likely won't be quantified for several years -- assuming UABB is still playing music a long time from now.
A heavy rock quartet in which members converge on drum and bass solos, Nothing More will return to Sam's Burger Joint on Sat. Aug. 30 (tickets here). The band's self-titled album was released last year and is its second full-length effort.
Vocalist Jonny Hawkins, guitarist Mark Vollelunga, bassist Daniel Oliver, and drummer Paul OBrien, a New Orleans native, landed their first national tour last summer opening for Adrenaline Mob. It was a reward for the tireless local and state-wide touring the band had been doing since its 2009 full-length debut The Few Not Fleeting. One of those shows occurred at Sunken Gardens in June 2012 when Nothing More shared the stage with Bush and Seether.
The group's forthcoming gigs around the country with Five Finger Death Punch will be interspersed with even more shows opening for Hellyeah and Volbeat, signifying that bigger things continue to make their way toward Nothing More's horizon. And yep, you guessed it: Five Finger Death Punch, Hellyeah and Volbeat also play Knotfest on Oct. 26, each of them on the main stage preceding Slipknot's second and final set of what's certain to be an explosive weekend.
The SAMME has covered Nothing More on several occasions. Those articles and other related topics can be viewed via the "Suggested" links in blue below.
Perhaps a trip to Knotfest to cover Upon A Burning Body and Nothing More will be in store for the SAMME as well. Stay tuned.
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