Tag Archives: Alternative Metal Music

VAJRA Announces Descent Tour Starting October 20

VAJRA says “We made it — after three years, it’s good to be back riding the edge of existence. We’ll be performing songs from Irkalla live for the first time ever. Join us on one of these limited dates.”

Weaving a tapestry of melodic rock and dark ambient experimental interludes with a blend of alternative, progressive tinged metal and colorful soundscapes, Irkalla was released in January 2021 via Thunder Cult Records. The EP spawned several singles.  The first single, “Maya,” debuted at #2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Indicator Most Added Chart and landed #26 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Indicator Chart. The video for “Maya” was a 100% DIY creation by VAJRA and won 9 awards: Winner, Cannes International Cinema Festival 2021; Official Selection, Berlin International Art Film Festival 2022; Official Selection, New York Independent Cinema Awards, 2021; Official Selection, Montreal Independent Film Festival 2021; Official Selection, 2021 ARFF Paris; Official Selection, Venice Shorts 2021; Official Selection, Boston Independent Film Awards 2021; Official Selection, Kalakari Film Festival and Official Selection, Chicago Indie Film Awards.

 “Crown or Crucify” from the Irkalla EP  reached the Top 40 on the “Mediabase Active Rock Chart.” 

“The inspiration for every aspect of the EP came to me in meditation and communion with particular Goddess/divine feminine energies,” Vocalist, Annamaria Pinna says. “Women shouldn’t have to throw an aggressive male lens over their art or replicate aggressive male energy to be present or legitimate in their art. The sensual, subtle body aspects are just as beautiful as the rational, directed aspects. One defines the other, and both are aspects of the one. Balance is key. I can only approach that balance from my perspective, and hope that it resonates.”

Conceptually, Irkalla is the first part of a trilogy exploring the various philosophical and esoteric levels of consciousness. The use of the Sumerian word “Irkalla,” which is a mythological Underworld of sorts from which there’s no return, is both metaphorical and literal. Irkalla was produced by New York native Daniel “Sahaj” Ticotin (RaMötley Crüe), whom Pinna was introduced to in 2018 after both were on different spiritual missions in India.

VAJRA‘s are currently in the studio with Sahaj Ticotin recording the follow-up to the Irkalla EP.  Also, in the spirit of Jane’s Addiction‘s “The Gift” VAJRA are creating a 100% DIY short film that is inspired by “The Descent of Inanna,” and incorporates reimagined and twisted versions of music videos from the Irkalla EP of 2021, to be released later this year.

Catch VAJRA at: 

Thursday, October 20 at Alchemy in Providence, RI

Friday, October 21 at Reverb in Reading, PA

Saturday, October 22 at The Kingsland in Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, October 23 at Wally’s in Hampton Beach, NH (as special guests of The Haxans)


Annamaria Pinna – vocals, flute, keys

Dave Sussman – guitars

Jimmy DeMarco – drums

John Heaney – bass


Canadians know how to rock – period! Sure, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and all other Canadian hockey stars can “rock” the ice rink, but, damn, Canadian rockers can take down the house too. Sold out summer stage The Stone Pony at Asbury Park, NJ just barely survived full onslaught of variety of punk rock. And if anything, we Blame Canada. Canadian rockers SUM 41 and Simple Plan just wrapped up their co-headlined North American The Blame Canada Tour 2022. So we caught up with them on hot, steamy night by the famous Jersey shore in the famous Jersey rock venue to witness one of the last shows in the tour.

Written by Andris Jansons

Night started off with very colorful performance of American band Set It Off. I was able to witness the band wrapping up their set. Some very joyous music, as colorful as the bands members themselves, and setting off many positive vibes.

Simple Plan came on stage as sun started slowly setting. With no backdrop banners, some contrasting clouds and blue sky set the beautiful natural backdrop. For a Simple Plan this tour served as a way to commemorate 20th Anniversary of their debut album No Pads, No Helmets …. Just Balls, and the band opened their set with the song taken from that album called I’d Do Anything. Other songs from album that were played were Addicted, I’m Just A Kid, The Worst Day Ever and Perfect which served as a conclusion for their set.

Photo by Andris Jansons

Se full photo gallery for Simple Plan here.

Bands vocalist Pierre Bouvier kept constant contact with the crowd and made quite a few references of the previous times band played in New Jersey. He even let the fans play with his balls …. Ughh, the inflated beach balls that is. Why, what did you thought? One lucky fan even received signed by Pierre beach ball. Later during I’m Just A Kid song the bands drummer Chuck Comeau addressed the crowd about pandemic and tour postponements and decided to crowd surf, but not before putting on a yellow hazmat suit with hazmat facemask, and when fans “returned” him to the stage he got disinfected with some smoke guns. A little lighthearted step back from all the stress we suffered in the last two years.

SUM 41 barged on to the stage like a Nor easter winds from the Canada in the middle of January. We, Jersey people know that all too well. Fittingly, just before the band came on the AC/DC’s TNT blasted from the speakers, just to give way for SUM 41 to blast first three songs – Motivation, The Hell Song and Over My Head (Better Off Dead). All three songs felt like one, relentless onslaught of hard-hitting punk rock with Dave Baksh shredding like a true metaller and vocalist Deryck Whibley delivering aggressive vocals. Same goes for everyone else on the band. Everyone was fully immersed in the moment and performance.

Photo by Andris Jansons

See full photo gallery for SUM 41 here.

SUM 41 dedicated this tour to their 21st Anniversary of their debut album All Killer No Filler. And while they played four songs from that album, rest of the set was nicely filled with the material from most of their discography.

Band delivered a hard-hitting punch for the night as crowd was going off in the pit and crowd surfers came forward like ocean waves crashing the Jersey beach.

Both Canadian bands are now scheduled to travel to Europe for better part of September and October, and later SUM 41 will join Offspring for their Australian Tour.

SUM 41 Share Details About Upcoming Double Album “Heaven and Hell”

In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, Grammy-nominated band SUM 41 have shared a first look at the details of their upcoming eighth studio album. Vocalist Deryck Whibley shared that the double album, titled Heaven and Hell, is shaping up to be the most ambitious of the band’s career – half of the album brings SUM 41 back to their pop punk roots, Heaven, and half of the album is strictly metal, Hell.

As I listened to almost all of [the newly written songs], it just kind of dawned on me. Did I just make a double record on accident?”

On the metal half of the album, Whibley says, Some of the metal stuff comes with a lot of anger for people who have stolen from me and hurt me in the past.”

It all made sense to me why pop-punk is coming back: it’s feel-good music. There’s something that’s happy about it. Something young and innocent and free,” he continues on the pop-punk aspect of the new record.

The band has been straddling the line of pop-punk and metal for their 26-year career, and Heaven and Hell is a clear statement that the iconic band: nobody else is putting out an album like this because nobody else is capable of it the way SUM 41 is. The upcoming record is something special that will propel SUM 41 to new heights – a feat that seems nearly impossible with all their accolades so far, but this is merely the beginning of something great.

Looking back at the band’s storied career with over 15 million records sold worldwide, multiple Billboard Charting releases, a Grammy Award nomination, 2 Juno Awards (7 nominations), a Kerrang! Award in 2002, as well as multiple Alternative Press Music Awards, SUM 41 is quite simply a rock band – uncompromising and honest with no intention of slowing down.

SUM 41 recently announced the Blame Canada Tour featuring co-headliners Simple Plan. This trek marks the first time both bands will be touring together, featuring Sum 41 performing All Killer No Filler and Simple Plan performing No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls.

For a full list of dates, please see below or visit https://www.sum41.com

New Years Day Releases New Single and Video For “Hurts Like Hell”

Rock powerhouse New Years Day releases their new single and music video for “Hurts Like Hell” today via Century Media. Watch the music video directed by Robyn August (Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, Nothing More), below. The track is available to purchase and stream, HERE.

“‘Hurts Like Hell’ might seem like a song about a relationship on the surface; in a way, it is, I suppose,” states New Years Day singer Ash Costello. “As I struggled to navigate how to continue to pursue my passion during the pandemic, I realized that chaos is where I thrive. I will stare down any obstacle, even if I look like a crazy person to subject myself to it. Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘We all know people who are so afraid of pain that they shut themselves up […] and shrink until life is a mere living death.’ Turning pain into progress and tragedy into triumph is a particularly satisfying victory. As the saying goes: ‘nothing worth having comes easy.’ That is what ‘Hurts Like Hell’ means to me. The song is an acceptance and celebration of my relationship with chaos.”

New Years Day have also just announced their Fall headline tour today. The band will be on tour starting October 8thin Palmdale, CA and wrapping on October 23rd for the headline run. General admission tickets go on-sale starting August 19th at 10 AM local time. Before the headline run, the band will hit the road for Halestorm’s Fall 2022 headline tour, on top of festival appearances at Louder Than Life and Aftershock. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit New Years Day’s website, HERE.

Formed in Orange County, Calif. by Ash Costello and Nikki Misery, New Years Day shook the scene with their Another Century debut, Victim to Villain, in 2013 featuring their breakout single “Angel Eyes” (feat. Chris Motionless) The band later cemented their place in the heavy music landscape with their Epidemic EP and critically-acclaimed Malevolence full-length in 2015, clocking more than 20 million views on YouTube. The band has since become the most visually-captivating group in modern rock, playing for millions of fans around the world, sharing the stage with Ozzy OsbourneHalestormNine Inch Nails, Escape The Fate, Hellyeah and Five Finger Death Punch while also headlining the longest-running touring festival, Vans Warped Tour, in 2017. In 2018, they released their EP, Diary of a Creep, to pay tribute to the artists who shaped them thus far. The EP featured renditions of Garbage’s “Only Happy When It Rains” (feat. Lzzy Hale), New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle,” and more. 

“Hurts Like Hell” follows New Years Day’s 2019 release, Unbreakable, which enlisted powerhouse producers Mitchell Marlow (All That Remains, In This Moment) and Scott Stevens (Halestorm, Shinedown & American Authors) to create an album that combines heavy rock with pop sensibilities. Upon release, Unbreakable trended #1 on the iTunes rock chart, celebrated over 18 weeks on Billboard’s Current Hard Music Albums Chart. The singles “Shut Up” and “Come For Me” became the band’s first charting Active Rock radio hits. The album surpassed 30 million global streams, establishing New Years Day as a force to be reckoned with. The band toured extensively to support Unbreakable with a combination of headline performances, festivals and tours all over the world with Halestorm, In This Moment, Godsmack and more. Additionally, the band has even performed eventual champion Rhea Ripley’s theme “This Is My Brutality” at WWE Wrestlemania 2021New Years Day celebrates a 10+ year career with over 66 million global streams, 59 million YouTube views & a top 15 Billboard Mainstream Rock Charting hit.

New Years Day Tour Dates:

Supporting Halestorm

September 21 – Huntsville, AL – Mars Music Hall

September 22 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life*

September 24 – Maryland Heights, MO – Pointfest**

September 26 – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern

September 28 – New Orleans, LA – Fillmore

September 29 – San Antonio, TX – Tech Port Center

October 1 – Corpus Christi, TX – Selena Auditorium 

October 2 – Lubbock, TX – Buddy Holly Hall

October 4 – Colorado Springs, CO – Pikes Peak Center

Headline Shows

October 8 – Palmdale, CA – Transplants Brewery

October 9 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock*

October 11 – Phoenix, AZ – Last Exit

October 12 – Albuquerque, NM – The Launchpad

October 13 – El Paso, TX – Rock House

October 15 – Oklahoma City, OK – Beer City

October 16 – Dallas, TX – KEGL Freakers Ball

October 18 – Pensacola, FL – The HandleBar

October 19 – Orlando, FL – The Haven

October 20 – Tampa, FL – The Brass Mug

October 22 – Greensboro, NC – The Blind Tiger

October 23 – Jacksonville, NC – Hooligan’s

*festival shows

**radio show