Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fire From The Gods - The INsite Interview

Austin's Fire From The Gods
The INsite Interview

Drew Walker, guitarist - Fire From The Gods

By: Sean Claes

If the status of metal music in today's world was in question, question no more. I was able to attend the All Stars Tour when it made a stop in Austin, Texas on August 15, 2015 at the Empire Control Room & Garage.

Headliners included Upon A Burning Body and Dance Gavin Dance and supporting bands included: A Skylit Drive, Iwrestledabearonce, Within the Ruins, Oceano, Dayshell, Come The Dawn and Conquer Divide. Also on the bill for the Austin show was Zeale (Austin), A Tragedy at Hand (Irving) and Fire From The Gods (Austin).

There was not a dud in the bunch, I was impressed with the quality of metal and hardcore that this group brought to the table. One of the most energetic and crowd pumping (and surfing) bands on the bill was a local sextet by the name of Fire From The Gods.

Although they're been together since 2007, Fire From The Gods, in their current iteration, is relatively new to the forefront of the scene. If the show I witnessed is anything like the show that is currently being performed on their current "2 Legit 2 Pit" tour... fans and newcomers alike are in for a treat.

Their tour began with the Hometown performance at the All Stars Tour on August 15 and it'll end at another hometown gig at the Empire Control Room & Garage on September 6 - The Hoodang Music Festival.

FFTG began in 2007 just as the members were graduating high school. The bandmates changed as members moved away for college, took full time jobs and as a natural progression of the band. Founding members Bonner Baker (bass) and Drew Walker are now joined by four amazing individuals who seem to make the puzzle fit perfectly. Vocalist Chris Mardis and drummer Richard Wicander both played in another Austin band, Outlaws to Kings. Jameson Teat played in few local (Austin) hardcore bands, Somewhere in September and Let The Dead before joining FFTG. Vocalist AJ Channer is the new kid on the block in the band. Hailing from New York (by way of England and Jamaica), he's been holding down the lead screamer position for just over a year.

INsite owner Sean Claes had a chance to catch up with founding guitarist Drew Walker after their set at the All Star Festival. We took a walk and decided to do a little video interview... so we found a quiet space.. in an alley between The Red Eyed Fly and Beerland.

First I had to ask about the origin of their name... wondering if there was a mythological meaning. I found out instead, it was based on a 2003 Horse The Band track that sampled a classic video game commercial.

That out of the way, we talked about the current tour.

They were tapped to play the All Stars Tour by Anthony Stevenson of Come And Take It Productions.

Shows like The All Stars Tour tap local bands to open up for the touring bands in order to provide an all-day show. We talked about this idea for tours, which has gained popularity in recent years.


They are currently on a month-long "2 Legit 2 Pit" tour.

Fire From The Gods returns to Ausitn on September 6, 2015 for the Hoodang Music Festival.

Being a band hailing from Austin with 8 years on the scene, I asked Walker his impression on the current Austin metal scene.

Which led to a discussion about the closing of Emo's and Red 7 on the Red River scene.

Turning back to FFTG, we talked about some of their biggest supporters, like Anthony Stevenson of Come and Take It Productions and Dave Dickens of Headbang For The Highway.

Thinking back to the beginning, Walked touched on when the band became more than just a bunch of folks playing music and became something "real."

Walker also touched on the current line-up from Fire From The Gods.

Walker talks about the idea of feeling like the band "Made It."

If you'd like to watch the video interview all together, you can follow this link

The next local show for Fire From The Gods will be Day 2 (featuring 18 bands including The Red Cord) of the Hoodang Festival on September 6, 2015 at Empire Control Room & Garage. Make plans to attend and attend early, it's worth your time and energy.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

INsite Hindsite: The All Stars Tour - Austin - Empire Control Room 8/15/15

The All Stars Tour - Austin 8/15/15

Chris Mardis of Fire From The Gods crowd surfs.
INsite owner Sean Claes had the chance to catch the all-day musical event that was the All Stars Tour on Saturday August 15, 2015 at the Empire Control Room & Garage (606 E. Seventh Street, Austin).

The bands for the day (which began at 2p and lasted until about 10:30p) included:  Upon A Burning Body, Dance Gavin Dance, A Skylit Drive, iwrestledabearonce, Within the Ruins, Oceano, Dayshell, Conquer Divide, Fire From the Gods, Zeale Rapz and A Tragedy At Hand.

Making it just in time to see Zeale perform (with AJ Vallejo on guitar), Claes captured the day on film. The entire album of the day is here. Let's just say the name of the tour did not lie... EVERY band turned  in a fantastic brutal metal or rock set... and for the hundreds of fans who made it out... it was a memorable show.
Below are some choice shots from each set. 

Zeale Rapz

Fire From The Gods

Conquer Divide


Within the Ruins


A Skylit Drive

Dance Gavin Dance

Upon A Burning Body

The dates of the All Stars Tour are as follows:

Friday, July 31, 2015

INsite Hindsite - Terri Hendrix - San Marcos Summer in the Park Concert Series 7/30/15

Terri Hendrix w/ Lloyd Maines
at San Marcos Summer in the Park

Terri Hendrix and her band play on stage in San Marcos, Texas at the city park.

By Sean Claes

For the last 29 years, the San Marcos Performing Arts Association (SMPAA) have been hosting a concert series entitled Summer In The Park in San Marcos, Texas.

In 2015 it returned to  Thursday nights in San Marcos Plaza Park and a large crowd was treated to the amazing music of Terri Hendrix, a hometown hero. Hendrix played songs from her 9 album discography and was fantastic.

I must admit, my wife and I have been a Terri/Lloyd fan since the beginning. We've raised our kiddos (8 & 11) by going to these shows... and have some great "family" photos with the band. A Terri show is an event each time... the audience is drawn is, dances without care and smiles from ear to ear... kind of how someone describes a Grateful Dead show... but without the psychedelics.  

I was there with my camera to capture some of the action.  

The view from the stage

Terri Hendrix w/ Lloyd Maines

Lloyd Maines

Terri Hendrix

Glen Fukanaga

Conga break
Terri Hendrix Band

John Silva
The photographer (right) and family w/ Terri Hendrix

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Five Bands To Look For At Vans Warped Tour 2015

2015 Vans Warped Tour
INsite's 5 To Watch

By Sean Claes
Once again the parking lot of San Antonio’s AT&T Center will be the home of the misfits, the rockers, the metal lovers and kids of all ages that want to see a spectacle of rock, metal, hip-hop and power pop. Why? Because on June 28, The Vans Warped Tour will pull into town and throw down another 30+ band extravaganza and they won’t leave until every last fan has had an earful.

Date: Sunday, June 28
Location: San Antonio - AT&T Center
One AT&T Center Parkway
San Antonio, TX 78219
Doors: 11:00 AM

INsite has decided to shine the light on 5 of the performers on this year’s tour. These are bands we think you need to make sue to catch, so sit back and enjoy our 5 Bands To Look For At San Antonio’s Vans Warped Tour.

1. Asking Alexandria

Moving forward after their original lead vocalist Danny Worsnop announced his departure from the band in January, Engligh Metalcore band Asking Alexandria is coming in strong with new lead singer Denis Stoff (Make Me Famous) and a new song “I Won’t Give Up” (video posted here).

Denis has some big shoes to fill, and if he can handle the corwds at Warped, he will do just fine. It’ll be interesting to see the new dynamic and I, for one, intend on catching their set.

2. Beartooth

@ Warped Tour 2014. Photo by Sean Claes

I caught Ohio’s Beartooth by accident last year at Warped and they are one of the bands that stood out to me.  The band was formed as a side project for vocalist Caleb Shomo when he was in the band Attack! Attack! But when that group called it quits in 2012, Beartooth got brought to the forefront.

The last year has been good for Beartooth. They were nominated for a “Golden God” for best new band and been riding high off their debut release, 2014’s Disgusting. In April they released the single “In Between” off that album.

3. Family Force 5

Courtesy Photo

A Christian band from Atlanta, Family Force 5 has been around for over 10 years now. I admit, I learned of them from their fantastic “Family Force 5 Really Real Show #12” where they visited Flea Market Montgomery (watch it here.).

A little fun at Warped Tour is a good thing… this electronica/pop/dance band might just be the time-out you need after taking a few metalcore pills earlier in the day.  Besides, how can you NOT have fun when the band members include dudes with names like “Crouton, Fatty and Chap Stique?”

Here’s the video for their new single “Sweep The Leg” which begs the question, which came first LMFAO or Family Force 5? (The answer to that question is playing Warped Tour).


4. Memphis May Fire

Courtesy Photo
From the great state of Texas, Memphis May Fire has been at it for 4 albums and almost 10 years.

This is some straight up brutal metal with punishing drums. Sure, you’e going to get your share of scream + clean vocal metalcore bands in Warped this year, but this is one that has stood the test of time and is worth making it through the crowds to catch.

Their 2014 release Unconditional made it to the #4 slot on Billboard when it debuted in March. They plan to release a deluxe version of Unconditional in July.

Here’s their latest release “Sleepless Nights”

5. We Came As Romans

Photo by Sean Claes

Another of my Warped Tour finds. I caught this Michigan-based band when they played Warped in 2013 and their high energy set drew me in (and as you can see from the photo, vocalist Dave Stephens connected with the crowd as well).

They’ve been around for a decade and, in July, will release their fourth and self-titled album.  As an interesting aside, former INsite movie editor Cole Dabney directed a few of their videos in 2011-2012.

Check out “Regenerate” from their soon-to-be-released album… then check them out  next Sunday at Warped.


Granted, these are just five of the bands we think you should see... other bands playing that are shoe-ins to be awesome include Black Veil Brides, Escape The Fate, Matchbook Romance, Riff Raff and While She Sleeps. The entire Line-up for San Antonio's Warped Tour can be found on the official site - here.

See you out there.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

INsite Hindsite - Video Hindsite 2015

INsite owner Sean Claes shares some videos he's shot over the last couple of months.
Hope you enjoy.

Walt Wilkins & The Mystiqueros

"King For A Day"
 San Marcos Music in the Park

Blue October 
"Breakfast After Ten"
The Marc (San Marcos, Texas)
United Way of Hays County Flood Relief Concert

Drew Kennedy 
"Unnamed Song - True Story"
Central Texas Speedway (Kyle)
Concerts For A Cause - Benefit for United Way of Hays County

the easy out
"Chemicals 1991"
Plum Creek's Front Porch Days (Kyle, Texas)

Jana Pochop
"Paranoid, Conspiracy Theory Love Song"
Concerts For A Cause
Down South Railhouse (Kyle, Texas)

Todd Snider 
"Too Soon To Tell"
Cheatham Street Warehouse (San Marcos)
Video by Sean Claes

Friday, May 8, 2015

INsite Hindsite - Old Settler's Music Festival

It was a little wet out there for Old Settler's Music Festival, but that didn't stop the bands from playing.. and it really didn't stop the fans from enjoying their times.

Here's some photos from the weekend taken by INsite's Sean Claes.


ROXY ROCA backstage on Friday

Friday:  Johnnyswim

Friday: SAM BUSH

Friday: Roxy Roca on stage




Saturday: Songwriter Session w/ TIM O'BRIEN and BRUCE ROBISON

Saturday: Winner of Young Talent Competition -Joelton Mayfield 



Saturday: Workshop w/ JAKE SHIMABUKURO


Saturday: Backstage with SHINYRIBS

Saturday: HOT RIZE




Sunday: Backstage with MEAUX JEAUX (Jitterbug Vipers)

Sunday: WOOD & WIRE

Sunday - Closing out with SHINYRIBS