Road to the Golden Gods Tour w/Stone Sour, In This Moment, & Hell or Highwater
House of Gold & Bones Parts 1 & 2 is a collection of 23 tracks that follow an immersive, linear storyline. Part 1 – the first 11 songs – will be released on October 23, 2012. Part 2 will be released next year, completing the story. The songs set the tone and follow the action, but House of Gold & Bones is a multimedia experience. Videos, an online presence, album packaging, the live show and even a graphic novel will all follow and expand on the story. It's a lofty undertaking, but Stone Sour have never shied away from a challenge. With them, it's par for the course.
The gold-selling Iowa hard rock outfit has sold over four million albums worldwide over the course of three full-length releases. Their self-titled debut and sophomore effort Come What(ever) May both exceeded Gold status, while 2010's Audio Secrecy debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200. Their arsenal includes number one singles such as "Through Glass," "Say You'll Haunt Me" and "Bother," and three Grammy Award nominations. Given those accomplishments, it'd be easy for the band—Corey Taylor [Vocals], James Root [Guitar], Josh Rand [Guitar], and Roy Mayorga [Drums]—to tread the same ground with very successful results. But they completely flip the globe on its axis this time around.
"To us, this was bigger than just a collection of songs," says Rand. "We wanted to do something really special, and it started when Corey told us about the concept. There was a big mission, and everything tied in from the story to the music. We all put a lot into this, and everybody contributed immensely."
"At the end of the day, if you're not risking it all, you're not gaining anything," Taylor affirms. "There's a whole musical realm I haven't even tackled yet. I've never been into writing the same shit over and over again. The minute I get bored is the minute I bail. It was exciting to be neck-deep in the creation of House of Gold & Bones, knowing we were pushing the boundaries of what we'd done before."
The band began pushing those boundaries as soon as they entered Soundfarm Studios in Jamaica, Iowa with producer David Bottrill [Tool, Muse, Staind] in early 2012. After he and Root finished up on the road with Slipknot, Taylor holed himself up at home and recorded 15 demos, also penning the story of House of Gold & Bones during an extremely creative spell (Taylor's debut book Seven Deadly Sins was released last year, and is an international bestseller). The musicians worked out a skeleton for the songs so they could collectively begin the recording process with a clear and direct vision. Then, Bottrill helped them hone everything even further into the 23 songs comprising the record in only three months.
Rand adds, "In the world of Pro Tools, everything can be perfect. We didn't want that. We wanted a live, natural feel with the organic sound of the instruments intact. David was able to capture exactly what went to tape. He got the best out of us, and it was amazing to watch him do that. I don't know of any other producer who could get the same results in the timeframe we had."
"In my eyes, David was custom-made for this project," enthuses Taylor. "I knew he would help us trim the fat and get to the essence of the songs. I also knew he'd push us performance-wise to go above and beyond anything we had ever done before in a short span of time. He immediately got it, and he was born to make these two albums."
Not only was it Stone Sour's first time collaborating with Bottrill, they welcomed legendary Skid Row bassist Rachel Bolan into the fold to record with them. Bolan also shared their vision and dove headfirst into the world of House of Gold & Bones wholeheartedly.
Taylor reveals, "I've been a Skid Row fan since I was young. They were actually one of my first favorite bands. We met Rachel on the last Stone Sour tour. One night, Josh, Roy and I were sitting at my kitchen table, and Josh brought him up to play bass. We thought it was perfect, and I called him that night. It was fate he could do it, and he schooled it."
This journey commences with the double salvo of "Gone Sovereign" and the first single "Absolute Zero." During the former, a guttural riff grooves through a dead soundscape before snapping into incendiary thrash as Taylor's voice commands with a vicious scream. Not to mention, there's some scorching fretwork from Rand and Root.
"It's such a one-two punch right out of the gate," says the vocalist. "It's unrelenting. 'Gone Sovereign' is different from anything we've ever done, but it's reminiscent of music we grew up listening to. It has that gutter punk, old school thrash vibe. It's the overture. It sets the tone for what you're about to be put through."
"Absolute Zero" which roars with a rousing anthemic refrain that's as potent as it is poetic. "It's the anti-hero anthem," Taylor reveals. "The main character, The Human, puts it all on the plate and declares, 'This is what I am. There's no reason for you to assume anything.' It's a character study for the 'Hero' of the story. This sets the scene for where this person is when he finds himself in this fantastic world. It's the ramp for Evel Knievel to jump off of."
Listeners are jumping into an immersive world here. The band prefaced the record with an interactive "Scavenger Hunt" that unlocked the cover and the first two songs on the official House of Gold & Bones website, where record secrets will continually be uncovered. Taylor is currently prepping a graphic novel to go along with it.
As for the story itself, it sees the protagonist at a physical and philosophical crossroads faced with weighty decisions that will impact whether or not he wakes from the dream in which he's trapped. To a degree, it reflects a crossroads the writer himself stood at.
"There's a good chunk of the album that's autobiographical," admits Taylor. "It's been a long road for me trying to get from being this youthful crazy person to this more mature crazy person. There are all of these twists and turns that come along with getting your shit together. At the same time, I never use a name in the story. I wanted to reinforce the mirror effect where you read it and can see yourself in it."
Rand leaves off, "There's a thrill in doing something completely unpredictable. This is our next evolution."
"It's not just another level," concludes Taylor. "It's a different level. We're looking at everything from a three-dimensional standpoint. House of Gold & Bones feels ready to explode."
Corey Taylor - vocals
James Root - guitar
Josh Rand - guitar
Shawn Economaki - bass
Roy Mayorga - drums
Hell Or HighwaterRock
In This MomentRock
One group that has definitely paid their fair share of dues is the Southern California based quintet IN THIS MOMENT who, through hard work, resiliency and an undying worldwide touring schedule have propelled themselves to the top of the heap of the metal pantheon. They have now returned with their most dynamic and focused offering, which quickly proves that this unit has greatly matured well beyond their years.
IN THIS MOMENT spent the early part of 2010 at The Wolve’s Den studio once again with acclaimed producer Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch) recording A Star-Crossed Wasteland, an album hailed by Alternative Press as “One of The Most Anticipated Releases of 2010.”
The group are extremely excited to be performing on this summer’s much anticipated Rockstar Mayhem Tour playing on the Mayhem Festival Stage alongside Korn, Rob Zombie and Atreyu. This tour will mark the start of the group’s official, massive worldwide touring cycle.
Chris Howorth (guitars) further states: “The writing process for A Star-Crossed Wasteland was different than on our previous records. This time we had more of a plan and we knew we wanted to write darker heavier songs while still keeping our melodic side. We started working on new music last August right after Warped Tour ended and wrote continuously for five months to get as many song ideas on tape as possible. We ended up with about 15 demo songs. Once we got into the studio with Kevin we dissected everything again to make sure everyone was happy with the arrangements and then started tracking.
“For us, using Kevin Churko was a no brainer, we had such a great experience making The Dream that we didn't even consider using anyone else. I've said it before and I will say it again, Kevin is the man. He is like the Gandolf the Grey or Yoda of producing. He has so much knowledge and is so creative musically we feel like magic happens when we work together.
“I am extremely happy with the end result. We made a record that shows who we are and what we are really about. We feel like it's our defining statement. We really put a lot of effort into making sure the guitars were massive and the drums were slamming while still retaining the depth and melodic layers in the songs. Vocally and lyrically Maria was very emotional and coming from a darker place than on previous albums, and she really poured her heart out and as usual you can tell that it’s 100% genuine.”
One always hears the same old adage growing up: “believe in your dreams, because dreams really do come true.” Well, this statement perfectly defines the life of IN THIS MOMENT’s frontwoman, Maria Brink, who always believed that she would become a rock star, and overcome all of the obstacles that stood in her way while having to escape an overall non-positive environment.
Brink, an Albany, NY native, refused to let any of this deter her from achieving her lifelong goal and soon embarked for Los Angeles to begin her musical career. After a number of odd jobs and failed creative partnerships her life soon took a sudden turn upon meeting guitarist Chris Howorth in 2005, as the two immediately realized that they had something special together. This union would soon be rounded out by Jeff Fabb (drums), Blake Bunzel (guitars) and Jesse Landry (bass) to form IN THIS MOMENT, who just three years later performed to a sold-out crowd at the renowned Madison Square Garden opening for Ozzy Osbourne, ultimately proving dreams do come true.
Their invigorating mixture of metal and hard rock quickly caught the attention of metal and hard rock fans alike. The diversity and depth was refreshing and simply undeniable. In 2010, they continue to carve out their own unique and exhilarating chapter in the hard rock genre, laying the foundation for an extremely bright future. Original bassist Jesse Landry left the band after Warped Tour in 2009 to pursue non music related endeavors but Kyle Konkiel quickly joined the fold and instantly became a perfect fit. This group is collectively defined by their undying belief in themselves and this confidence and strength is conveyed perfectly through their new material.
For IN THIS MOMENT, the dream was always to become a worldwide phenomenon and that is something that will never fade, especially with this new effort. If you haven’t heard of IN THIS MOMENT, it won’t be long until you do because this band is at the brink of greatness.