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Soundwave 2015 Review

Soundwave 2015 Review

There’s just something super awesome about the Australian “Soundwave Festival” it’s kind of like Christmas, it comes but once a year and is full of all sorts of flavour!

The hype surrounding the band announcements is always something else and with each announcement the anticipation just grows stronger and stronger. The disappointing thing about this year has been the negativity surrounding the announcements, in my humble opinion this was a very solid line up that catered to many people. Let’s face it, we can’t have Metallica headline every year!

The two day format at first seemed like a lot to handle (mainly financially) but now that it’s done and dusted I have to say I really enjoyed it, the spread out for bands was much better and I only had one clash over the entire weekend. By the time day two came about, I did feel like I was going to roll over and die but that’s besides the point, haha!

“The Underground” was a lot more involved this year interviewing some of the best bands in the lead up to the festival including:

  • Burton C Bell (Fear Factory)
  • David Gunn (King 810)
  • Max Cavalera (Killer Be Killed)
  • Jerry Horton (Papa Roach)
  • Sully Erna (Godsmack)

It was a great honour to be officially invited as press and we made the most of the opportunity by catching as many bands as possible and our camera girl Anna took some amazing photos that will be featured throughout this review!

We’re actually located pretty much smack bang in the middle of Melbourne and Adelaide (an hour and a half closer to Melbourne) but we always go to Adelaide for Soundwave as the crowds are much smaller and easier to get around. Fingers crossed it returns next year because it really is an amazing day out and really makes for an intimate setting, the numbers were down once again this year but if there’s anyway the festival can return in 2016 we’d love to see it happen.

Unfortunately I finished up work late on the Friday night (Feb 20th) and it meant a four and a half hour drive into the sun for my wifey Anna and me. We hit Adelaide at around 11pm caught some z’s and before you knew it were tramming it into the city for day one and meeting up with the rest of the crew! I got super excited when I saw a guy sporting one of our super fresh Underground shirts but soon realized it was our graphics guy “Mcmuff”! Fitz and Flabbers followed soon after but we wouldn’t see much of them over the next two days, as they were more interested in the emo and punk side of things. This once again proves that there is something for everyone at the festival, to a degree anyway!  I would find myself hanging out with the wife for most of the weekend checking out the metal bands we cover as part of the show/website/movement! So without further ado here we go:

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Hollywood Undead

Most of our time was spent at the metal stage (4) and between the two main ones. First up was “Hollywood Undead” on stage 2. These are a major Fitz band and get a good spin on Underground Radio, according to Mcmuff they are one of the first bands to have blown up from “My Space”! Remember those days? These guys came out carrying a real presence and I was super digging them, the first three songs absolutely blew me away! Why aren’t I more into these dudes? I found myself saying but then I remembered why! They are a very diverse group that doesn’t just have that crazy rap/metal style that I love happening! A lot of their other music just isn’t my thing, which isn’t to say it’s not yours or Fitz’s by that matter but each to their own. Hat’s off to a good show but thumbs down for implying that no other band on the festival was worth seeing! Really?

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Terror Universal

Up next for us was a trip to our beloved stage 4, the metal stage! It was time for the new super group “Terror Universal” who consist of former and present members of Machine Head, Ill Nino and Soulfly! Got your attention yet? It most certainly has ours! These guys have the whole mask gimmick happening but I can’t lie I’m super into it!

At this stage it must have been 40 degrees plus and we were sitting in the straight sun as Rott (lead Vocals), Massacre (Drums), Diabolus (Lead Guitars) and Thrax (Guitars) ripped up the stage. At one point Mcmuff said to me one of these guys is going to have to faint (they weren’t overly dressed for the severe heat) but to their credit they put on one hell of a live show! It actually felt like we were in hell it was that hot, haha! Not the scary Satan hell but more like the fun loving “Lil Nicky Hell” complete with Terror Universal as the soundtrack!

Their debut “Reign of Terror” ep is out now and we highly recommend you check it out; I’m extremely excited to hear more music from these guys. The ep is five songs deep with not one skipable track highlighted but the opener “Welcome to Hell”, “Into the Darkness” and an amazing cover of the Rob Zombie classic “Superbeast” which they finished their set on, much to the delight of the crowd! All in all this was an awesome set and I’m looking forward to following these guys into the future, hell they’re only on around 7k likes on fb which just seems wrong!

Help support their movement and LIKE them here:

https://www.facebook.com/terroruniversalofficial

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Fear Factory

We took a brief break to regroup for the world’s best metal band (yeah I’m biased) before they took the stage at 4.40. I must have seen these guys live more than any other metal band, they are just that good! We’ve been lucky enough to have had both Dino and Burton on the show a couple of times and most recently Burton hyping up the Soundwave gig aswell as the new album! Both are genuine guys and I feel like I’ve grown up with them first discovering them in 1998 with the release of the epic “Obsolete” album. The beauty of Fear Factory is the always seem to be ahead of their time, I’ve said it to Burton numerous times “You could release Demanafacture this week no problems at all, it’s just so ahead of it’s time”. It’s hard to believe the album is almost 20 years old!

Back to the show though! Once again they brought it, but you wouldn’t expect anything else. I really hope Burton’s voice holds up and they continue on for at least the next twenty years, they truly are one of a kind and innovators in their own unique style! The only downer to this show was it was only a one hour set, highlights included “Shock”, “Edge Crusher” and “Self Bias Resistor” but you could go on! Dino sporting a sombrero also brought a smile to my face, you have to love Fear Factory. What more can you say? Not only was this the highlight of day one for me but the highlight for the entire festival! Keep it up fellas we’d love to see an Obsolete tour and it’s safe to say “The Underground” camp is extremely excited for the new album.

Day one concluded with us watching Soundgarden, a band we don’t cover but an all time favourite of mine. They brought the goods and it’s another group I can tick off of the bucket list! On the tram ride home we over heard many people complaining they didn’t play “Black Hole Sun”, haters going to hate! Apart from that we thoroughly enjoyed their set, Chris Cornell certainly hasn’t lost it but once again we don’t cover these guys on “The Underground” as they’re one of the biggest in the world.

The super crappy thing was when we got back to the brother in laws house that night we found ourselves setting up a tent in the back yard as he had a full house! We’re not campers by any means and after 12 hours in the sun, we really could have done with some air conditioning, haha! Much love to Jase and Hayley for having us for the weekend though, you guys are great as was day one of Soundwave. We went to sleep knowing that Day 2 was going to be a much bigger day with a lot more bands to check out but as excited as we were we had no trouble sleeping, even in the tent without a mattress!!

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DAY 2

Day 2 of Soundwave (Apart from Fear Factory) really seemed to be the pick of the two days (for us anyway) and after what seemed like very minimal sleep we found ourselves back at Bonython Park all ready to check out Flint, Michigan’s “King 810”..

King 810

We were super keen to check out King as we ran some promo for their “Memoirs of a Murderer” album back in August 2014 and there’s just something really intriguing about this band. The best way to describe King I think is “intense”, it didn’t matter that they were first up on the card at 12pm they brought the energy like they were headlining! Front man David Gunn was all over the place and 1000 miles a minute and you really felt like you were experiencing every heartfelt lyric with him. I was very impressed with them and their performance has really made a fan out of me, I look forward to following their career Interestingly enough they are set to head out on the road with Tech N9ne on his “Special Effects” tour which would make for one hell of a show, all in all King 810 brought it and we highly recommend you check them out. Hats off to them!

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Nonpoint

There really was no rest point on Day 2 as “Nonpoint” took the stage next, not being overly familiar with them we kicked back and watched from a distance. Unfortunately for them lead vocalist Elias Soriano found himself buying a lot of time trying to entertain the crowd as they had a bunch of technical difficulties. Funnily enough these guys are from Florida and he mentioned that the Heat here is so much worse than there; I always thought it was very hot there to, haha! These guys put on a good show and I’m definitely going to have to look into them more!

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Killer Be Killed

Australians were in for a real treat getting to see “Killer Be Killed” on their first ever tour, if you’re not familiar with these guys we highly recommend you check them out! This super group consists of The Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist “Greg Puciato”, the legendary “Max Cavalera”, Mastodon bassist “Troy Sanders” and former “The Mars Volta” drummer Dave Elitch.

This was their second ever live show (the first being the day before in Melbourne) and you could tell they were all loving life. These guys brought mass amounts of energy and the crowd loved every second of it! There’s just something super awesome about Max Cavalera and any time you get to see him live it pays for itself, circle pits opened up and the fun and mayhem throughout continued!

Playing tracks from their self titled debut album which was released in May 2014 this was definitely another highlight of the festival, how cool is it saying you were some of the first people in the world to see them live? Hell yes!

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Godsmack

Godsmack took the stage next and another Australian first, their first ever tour here! The wait was well and truly worth it to, I must say. Sully Erna has a real stage presence and the entire band put on one of the best shows for the entire weekend, we would later find out that Sully really was struggling in the heat. You couldn’t tell though, speaking of the heat we planned to sit through the second half of this to try save the energy a little bit for the remainder of the day. There was no way this would happen though as they smashed out old stuff, new stuff and stole the show with an absolutely amazing drum solo/duet that had the hairs on the back of your neck standing up! Crazy, we stayed right up front for the entire show.

Since the show we actually had the chance to speak with Sully (Thanks to John at Nuclear Blast Australia) this one is well and truly worth a listen. We get his thoughts on the Adelaide show, their latest album “1000 HP”, Godsmack day in Boston, poker, strip clubs and his upcoming mini-series (possible movie) “Street Level”. This is well and truly worth a listen, Sully even lets us know when they plan on coming back! Check it out here:

http://theundergroundaustralia.com.au/audio/sully-erna-godsmack-march-2015/

Godsmack finished up and that was it for us for the metal stage, all in all we were very happy with this year’s metal acts! A great variety with minimal hit or miss groups, as always though this is just our opinion.

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Papa Roach

Back in 2002 we planned on seeing Papa Roach for the very first time as they toured Australia with the mighty Red Hot Chilli Peppers! From time to time things just don’t work out and on this particular day we just made the Chilli’s and missed Papa Roach all together, we were pretty shattered at the time. Had we known it would be another 13 years before we got to see them again I think it would have even cut deeper but as the saying goes good things come to those who wait and we finally got the opportunity to see Papa Roach for the first time!

The show was a good one but having just seen Godsmack and been totally blown away from that I think they were a hard act to follow. Having said that it was still an enjoyable one and their latest album F.E.A.R is a damn solid piece of work and well worth checking out. I think maybe these guys are getting out of the “alternative” section of the bands we cover now, with a more mainstream feel about them.

Again that’s not to say it wasn’t a great show! Fitz and I would catch up with guitarist “Jerry Horton” the following Tuesday and talk about the show, the new album, surviving the Australian heat and a bunch more! You can peep that right here:

http://theundergroundaustralia.com.au/audio/jerry-horton-papa-roach-march-2015/

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Marilyn Manson

I’ve never been a huge Manson fan but was keen to check out his show, he’s an odd cat that’s for sure haha! How his guitarist didn’t punch him in the face is beyond me as he continued to bother him throughout, it was a little funny though. I’m sure the Manson fans loved it but the gig but it wasn’t for me, the dude scares me haha!

Our awesome camera girl caught some great photos though!

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Slipknot

Headlining the 2015 Soundwave festival was none other than metal giants “Slipknot” and for the first time in the two days I had my first clash! I’m also an old school Smashing Pumpkins fan and wanted to check them out as well, the plan was to watch the first half of the Knot and the second half of the Pumpkins. This did not happen as Slipknot put on one of the craziest live shows I have ever seen, ever! There was no way I was moving. The only let down was our MIA metal guy “The Real Jase L Herbert” wasn’t there.

With the drum kits spiraling out of the stage and up into the air, flames going off in the back ground and one of the craziest looking stages I’ve seen it made for a great visual. That’s not even to mention the music as they performed a great variety of old stuff but also some of the new tracks off of “.5: The Gray Chapter”.

For years I avoided Slipknot but this live show has cemented me as a fan. What an amazing one! Highlights basically included the entire set, haha! The best part is they promise they will be back. So look out Australia and prepare yourself for slipknot on the next Australian run, do not miss it!

That was us done for another Soundwave Festival and all in all it was a fantastic one, it’s disappointing to hear it may not be returning to Adelaide next year as I feel it’s an excellent venue for the festival. It’s just a shame the Adelaide people didn’t get behind it more, looks like we’re Melbourne bound in 2016!

Big thank you’s to Janine Morcos and Victoria Ciesiolka at Soundwave for helping us with the passes, thank you to Janine for helping set up some interviews aswell!

Thank you to John Horwath at Nuclear Blast Australia for setting up the Sully Erna interview, appreciate it man!

Last but certainly not least a massive thank you to Anna Tepper who sat through every single set with me and took some amazing photos, without you there is no way I could have handled everything! You continue to amaze!

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Ned

March 16th, 2015

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