Feb 042014

I have been complaining about this for a few years, that all these Toy Tiger Reunions were all based around Fire Dept (whom I love) and the Eighties crowd that revolved around them, when there was three decades of live music that happened at the Toy Tiger. My point is, there was so much more to The legendary Toy Tiger than Fire Dept.

My generation was the Nineties original metal scene at Toy Tiger. Bands like My Own Victim, Faceplant, Shattered Reality, Rathbone, Shapeless Matrix, Flaw, Drunk Monkey, Luther, Psycho Soul, Inhuman, Paglina, Incursion, and a ton of other bands as well. We had some rip-roaring shows in the mid-to-late Nineties. My goal is to reunite some of the bands for one reunion show. Yeah, I know it will be hard to do, getting bands to reform after 15 years, but I’m willing to give it a try to see if it can be done. I have some doubts because it’s been many many years, and people have kids, careers, wives, or don’t even live here anymore. But if I can set up a decent lineup of these bands, this will happen. I really want to make this reunion happen. It would be one really cool party. But … if bands are lazy and indecisive, then it probably won’t happen. I will be contacting bands very soon to see if it is a possibility to play the reunion, so some of you might be contacted soon!

I plan on having people in the music scene at the time, there to help run/host the show too, people like Black Frank, Louie The Local Guy, Jeff Vernon, Toy Tiger’s Mary Powell, etc..

All the proceeds will go to MERF so we’ll have more money to help people with. And yes, even hardcore, super-fast, brutal metal musicians can apply for assistance! There’s a new MERF in town, and we aim to help all you scalawags, from bluegrass to death metal. I’ll have more news later.

Dec 272013

After partying with Flaw at their recent show at PHT, I don’t know if I can handle more awesome shows like that. I’m getting’ too fargin old! I was exhausted. For all you youngsters, and youngsters at heart, New Year’s Eve at Diamonds promises to be a barn-burner of a show. You get to see Flaw in action again, as well as newly signed Villebillies, Signal The Revolution and Elephant Room. One price and you are covered for the night, party favors included! Noise makers, goofy hat, champagne toast, stuff like that. This show will probably sell out pretty fast, so you better get your tickets asap or you’ll be left out in the cold. So take my advice, don’t wait!!! This promises to be one epic show.

Dec 042013

Wow, what a fun night! Congrats to 93. 1 The Fox and all the good guys there for a wonderful night of Louisville music. It was an old-school show from hell, and I loved it. I saw so many people I knew that I hadn’t seen for a long time. This show was even more packed than my Rock For Kosair show! And that hasn’t happened for several years.

We got there in time to see long time metal veterans Incursion (who have almost been playing Louisville’s scene as long as me! It’s close!) let loose on some brutal, severely down-tuned riffage. Incursion killed as they tore into some of their tunes of the distant past. The sound was pounding and the screams of Van Avery were piercing. That guy can scream really well. I’m usually not into screaming all the time, but for this type of music, Stem and Van work very well together vocally. They had Gezuz on bass, but other than that it was an all original lineup. Those guys don’t play out much anymore, but when they do, apparently they really rip it up. It was good to see such a heavy band on a Gobblestock bill. They sounded pretty darn tight to me, even though they only had one guitarist this time around, Jeremy Roberts. No problems this night though, and while in the past, Incursion has had tuning problems, everything was right on the money this Thanksgiving night. The low tuning and fat PA system made for a thunderous sound in the saloon. It was good to see Nik Houpt kicking butt on the drums again, too! That dude is a beast.

Next up was old school rockers Primer 55. I remember being the first DJ to play Primer 55 on The Fox! This version of Primer 55 is a far cry of the old Primer from back in 1997. The Primer 55 from way back when, was my favorite Primer 55. Guitarist and Primer 55 founder Bobby Burns went on to some fame as bassist for Soulfly, touring the world and seeing things not many musicians get to see. It’s great that our native Kentucky boy has done some great things. The new Primer 55 rocks, too, mind you, but its so different from the old Primer, it almost shouldn’t be called Primer 55. It’s like a whole other sound. Bobby grew up in Kentucky, has lived in Tennessee and now resides in Atlanta. The new Primer features Bobby on vocals as well as guitar. He said he has had trouble with singers, so he decided to do both and get rid of all the drama! That is one tall order. To play and sing at the same time. I have so much respect for Bobby to be able to pull that off. The new stuff is a mixture of hardcore heavy/almost punk to radio-friendly rock. It’s pretty diverse and mixes things up well. Bobby’s voice is great on the heavy stuff, but being occupied with guitar duties may take a little off of the clean singing parts. And he could have used some more vocal effects on the singing parts of this set. His vocals were very dry on this set. Effects would have really set off the vocals on the singing parts! Bobby is one down-to-earth guy and it was so great to see him tearing it up here in Louisville once again. Primer 55 may not sound like the old version of Primer 55, but they are still a very formidable band to contend with! And the new sound will appeal to people who like the heavier music. I talked to Bobby and he said they were heading up north to Fort Wayne after Gobblestock. I wish the best of luck to Primer 55 on their tour!

Next up was Louisville’s own Flaw. I have to be honest with you, with the addiction problems that plagued the band, I never thought these guys would get back together with the original lineup, but it has happened. And they sounded fantastic at Gobblestock. Out of all the Louisville bands that have been signed, I like Flaw the best. The excellent vocals, the rich, textured melodic guitar duo parts, the sweet background vocals and basswork of Ryan Jurhs, the modern drumming of Chris Ballinger, the charisma of Jay Daunt. Flaw is back, and sober! And that, my friends, is a powerful thing indeed. I’ve known these guys forever it seems, especially Lance and Chris from Shapeless Matrix days! The crowd for Flaw was awesome! The Flaw fans were there for the guys and it must have felt great to be Flaw to come back like this, to so many caring and supportive friends in attendance, singing the songs and having a ball. Chris Vols sounded great this night, and didn’t miss a beat. He might have been a tad rusty but it really did not show. He hit the notes and had good range. I really love this guy’s voice, especially in his song “My Letter.” Flaw played a bunch of their classics like “Payback, " “Only The Strong Survive, " “My Letter, " “Whole” and two new songs that rocked, one was very heavy, and the other, “Do You Remember, ” was a very good slower, more commercial song and probably will be their first single they will release of the new stuff, I’m betting. The band had to cram in some practices at the last minute to be able to play Gobblestock on such short notice, but they pulled it off without a glitch. The crowd was very happy to have their favorite Louisville band back in action, and having all original members back – and sober – made a huge difference. Everyone got along and it showed. It was so cool to see so many old friends from the scene of old. Some of these folks never come out anymore because of kids, family, work, getting old, so it was a real treat.

Aug 042013

Everyone knows who Flaw is and that it was one of the top rock bands to ever come out of Louisville. Excellent vocals, catchy guitar riffs and plenty of attitude made Flaw what they were. I know this band well as I have played shows with them a long time, dating back to 1997, and even before then, when a few members were in Shapeless Matrix. Over the years there have been several attempts to reform Flaw. There were a few member changes, but something bad always happened and things imploded. Drug and alcohol abuse were high, and some members didn’t take the music as seriously as others.

The fact is, it was never the same as before the heyday of Flaw. But according to original guitarist Jay Daunt, there may be a full blown Flaw reunion with original members in the works. A serious and sober Flaw. If that’s true, those guys are holding a key to greatness, in which they only have to find the “right” door and unlock that MF. I took a few minutes to chat with Daunt regarding this turn of events.

Eddy: Jay, tell us about this latest Flaw reunion, how it came about, and why this time is different? I would hate to see people (including myself) get excited again, only to be disappointed if things did not work out. We want a 100% guarantee this time!

Jay: After several conversations between myself, Volz, Lance, Ryan, Ballinger and Scott Frazier, we decided that we were all in a place where we felt we could make Flaw work again and mend the mistakes we had made in the past. Everyone has matured and learned to deal with their demons through sobriety, spirituality and family. We did not undertake this endeavor lightly as we are all aware that the name and place in music for Flaw depends on all of our actions this time. There have been several, half-hearted Flaw reunions that were a couple of members with other musicians stuffed in. We tried it and found that the only way we can make Flaw work is myself, Volz, Ryan, Lance and Ballinger AND it requires us giving our all which includes sobriety and focus on the goal of beautiful, aggressive, haunting music. That is exactly what is happening and will happen this time. Everyone has a right to be skeptical but we do not intend to disappoint our fans this time as I truly believe Flaw is back. You have my guarantee (for what that is worth:-))

Eddy: What are the immediate plans of the band, and do you guys have any label interest or financial backing?

Jay: The immediate plans are working on new material. Writing is going great and we plan to make this another album that plays front to back without a listener even considering the skip forward button. We have interest and are working with Scott Frazier and his management company on the business side. Things are moving pretty quick but we are making sure to keep everything in check. The writing and music has to be first. We are all amped about the chance for a rebirth and opportunity to do this now that we are not little kids:-) We will keep everyone updated through our Facebook [page] and will be posting teasers down the road.

Eddy: What have you and the rest of the guys been up to these last few years Jay? The scene hasn’t seen you in forever it seems. I bet you can’t wait to jam out again.

Jay: Everyone has been doing individual projects and living life. We love music but have all learned that music cannot be the only thing in your life or you will be hollow even with fans across the world. I am so stoked to get back on the stage with my boys and I can speak for everyone in saying that we will rip the phucking walls off when we are unleashed. We intend to do music from the beginning of Flaw through new material, and we cant wait.

Eddy: Cool. It was good talking to you, bro, good luck, and hopefully, we’ll see you guys soon, live in action in Louisville! I would love for you guys to play my Rock For Kosair Benefit in November! You know you would get a prime spot!

Jay: Thanks for listening to me, my brother. We would love to be a part of the November show but we are not committing to shows until we are satisfied we have enough new material and are ready to record to get it to everyone. Part of the problem with the prior failure reunions were laziness and an attempt to simply tour on our name. This time it is new material and we will play to make it familiar to everyone. We cannot wait until we are back on stage but we are finishing the writing for ourselves and the fans first. I will keep you up to date and if you would like will give everyone an exclusive update through you whenever you would like. Rock on.