T-95's Not So Silent Night


Aranda, Man Made Machine, Shaman's Harvest

Wed, December 14, 2011

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$35 Advance - $40 Day of Show

All tickets are general admission. Table reservations are available for groups of 4 or more by calling the box office @ 316-722-4201.

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Staind dove into bleaker recesses than ever before and surfaced with their heaviest and most hypnotic album to date, STAIND, their self-titled, seventh studio album.

The multi-platinum Massachusetts hard rock outfit—Aaron Lewis, Mike Mushok, and Johnny "Old School" April—pushed itself to the very brink. There was struggle and strife, but, as a result, Staind constructed a collection of chaotically melodic songs that hearken back to their 1999 major label debut, Dysfunction, while wielding an instrumental and lyrical prowess that could only be cultivated by 16 years of writing, recording, and touring together.

Along the way, the band forged a melodic musical maelstrom that served as solace for fans of all ages. They sold 15 million albums worldwide, had eight top ten singles across multiple formats with three songs hitting number one, and wrote the most-played rock song of the past decade, "It's Been Awhile." Three out of six albums—Break the Cycle, 14 Shades of Grey, and Chapter V—debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and 2008's The Illusion of Progress peaked at #3. On STAIND, they channel the intensity from their early days with tight, taut technicality. Mushok augments an avalanche of baritone guitars with a searing solo on the track "Eyes Wide Open" as Lewis schizophrenically screams. Meanwhile, "The Bottom," featured on the Transformers: Dark of the Moon soundtrack, twists and turns through a haze of grinding guitars, bass, and drums. These songs are raw and real. They're heavy and honest. They're pure and powerful. They're everything Staind was always meant to be.

Mushok sums up the band's return to form best. "It's like Dysfunction 2011," he smiles. "The music goes back to where we started, but there's still melody. We were ready to make an album that was heavy from beginning to end. It was time."

"I aimed to create distance between Staind and my solo material,” declared Lewis. “We decided to go back to what we were doing initially."

The decision to make a heavier album proved unanimous among the band. Staind regrouped in December 2010 as a spring deadline loomed. In rehearsals, they tensely tore through ideas before arriving at what would become these songs. With Johnny K (Disturbed, Sevendust) returning behind the board, Staind constructed a studio that mirrored the producer's inside of Lewis's Western Massachusetts barn. They recorded drums, bass, and vocals in the barn, while Mushok cut his guitars in the band's Springfield, MA rehearsal spot.

During the winter months, Lewis stood mired in an intense balancing act of promoting his solo EP, “Town Line,” and toiling over STAIND. During this time, Town Line debuted at #1 on the Billboard country charts and #7 on the Billboard 200 and garnered Lewis two CMT award nominations. He'd play acoustic shows on the weekend and then return home to commence tracking during the week. Still, inspiration didn't truly strike until the last possible moment in April when he wrote and recorded the majority of the album's lyrics in two grueling and nerve-wracking two-day stints. Those eleventh hour sessions were an emotional exorcism.

"Pressure usually kicks in my creativity, but I've never been quite so stressed out over an album," reveals Lewis. "There were a lot of schedule clashes and differences of opinion, and I was trying to muscle through it all. I was burnt from running ragged, and nothing would come out lyrically for months. We'd talk about ideas, but it didn't happen until the end. Those were real feelings of discontent arising within the whole process. There's nothing like shit coming off real—when it's real. I guess that was my breaking point. It was a big heaving deep breath when it was over."

Mushok adds, "This was a hard record to make. We weren't all together in the same place the whole time, and Aaron and I butted heads about the music. In hindsight, it all paid off and we ended up with a better album."

Every moment of the process was captured in a forthcoming documentary piece, which Lewis aptly dubs, "Some Kind of Monster on steroids. It unveils everything that went into this.” After finishing the album, Staind underwent another significant change. The band amicably parted ways with original drummer Jon Wysocki.

"Not Again," the lead single, brandishes a vicious vitality, teetering between pummeling guitars and an incisive, infectious hook. "That was born out of the frustrations of making this record," exclaims Lewis. "It came out of being really fucking pissed off, and you can hear that in my voice."

You can also hear it loud and clear on the gritty and gruff groove of "Wannabe," where the singer spits vitriol at faceless online detractors. Then there's "Failing," which snaps from a haunting harmony into an entrancing refrain. With clean guitar and vocals, "Something to Remind You" is sparse and elegantly brutal, while "Paper Wings" burns with raw rage.

"There's a deeper anger to the vocals and music," explains April. "Some of the riffs Mike came up with were challenging and incredibly different. We've grown so much, and at the same time managed to find out way back to our roots.”

Since day one, Staind has found ways to make darkness beautiful, wrapping shards of melody inside a distorted hum. Mushok continues, "I'm very happy to know we can go back to where we came from and write a record like this. It wasn't an easy process, but it was worth it."

Ultimately, Staind will continue their legacy. "As a songwriter, you can only hope someone feels what you're feeling," concludes Lewis. "In terms of what I get off my chest, the subject matter has always been a release for me. I think this record is another perfect example of that."
Aranda is an experience. The wall-shaking Oklahoma brothers are no strangers to the music scene. Dameon and Gabe Aranda have been writing, singing, and performing together for over a decade, learning from the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Jimi Hendrix.

Through strong dedication and friendly rivalry, Gabe and Dameon perfected their onstage presence. "We made each other better by having that competitive spirit," Gabe says. "We don't think about who's the better singer. We think about who is going to sound better on this part, whether this song is screaming for a wailer, a rock singer, or a more soulful voice."

Guitarist Dameon says that every time he learned a few new chords, he would use them to write a song. "We want to go out there with high energy, keep rocking, keep everybody entertained. We want to involve our audience and make it fun," he says. "Our hope is that you'll keep coming back for more."
Man Made Machine
Man Made Machine
Justyn Sena was working at a restaurant in Phoenix, AZ when fate struck one evening during closing time. While clearing a nearby table, Sena overheard a conversation between music executive Steve Kidd (Rage Against The Machine) and his wife. The three began talking, leading to a conversation about the band in which Justyn played bass, and they exchanged contact information before parting.

Soon after this auspicious meeting, Justyn and his band mates found themselves in the studio recording several demos for Kidd, who then brought the tracks to Izzy Zivkovic (CEO, Split Media), and the two agreed to co-manage the band. The band recorded additional tracks and was soon approached by Chad Grey and Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne / HELLYEAH, who signed on to produce their album. With an experienced team of professionals behind them, Man Made Machine honed their craft to perfection, until they were ready to unleash their music to the world.

Being in a band together was not a new concept to the members of MMM. Joe Cotela, Justyn Sena, Matt Reinhard, Marc Hernandez and Steve Siminski all met as far back as elementary school in their hometown of Phoenix, AZ, dreaming up idyllic plans of making it to the big leagues of hard rock and heavy metal by the time they were in Corona Del Sol High School.

“Our first major band, The Cover Up, came together from two different bands,” states Sena. “A few of us were in one locally popular band, and a couple of us in another. We all knew coming together would be a good idea, and once we did that, everything made sense.”

The Cover Up quickly gained recognition well beyond their local Phoenix area. Spreading their hardcore/pop-punk fusion sound and honest lyrics, the band toured the country with bands including Escape The Fate and Dr. Acula, and performed at festivals including Dirtfest where they shared the bill with metal groups such as Parkway Drive and Winds of Plague.

The band grew tired of the copy-cat “scene music” they had been a part of as The Cover Up. It became clear that they needed to leave their old style behind and move forward with a sound truer to their nature. Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses began to inspire the group of friends, and the hard rock influence quickly took shape in their songwriting. The band was now reborn as Man Made Machine.

Fast forward to acquiring new management and working in the Mesa, AZ studio with Chad and Greg of Mudvayne / HELLYEAH, MMM narrowed their fifty-song repertoire into twelve solid active rock tracks for their September 2011 release, Become. The album was mixed by Jeremy Parker, known for his work with Evanescence and Godsmack. “It was an honor and a great learning experience to work with guys of their caliber,” states vocalist Joe Cotela. “We have all looked up to them for years now. They really brought out the next level in all of us as musicians.”

Though approached by numerous labels, the band ultimately chose Razor & Tie as their new home. “We’re glad that we’ve been given an authentic opportunity for Man Made Machine. Razor & Tie is the record label we’ve always wanted,” affirms Sena. “The opportunities we’re getting out of our label and management now is indicative of the success that we’ve always desired as a band.”

Become is a powerful, hard rock roller-coaster ride, soaring through diverse, yet autobiographical songs. “The lyrics are vulnerable. There are introspective lyrics, as well as lyrics that make you feel invincible,” explains Cotela. “There are also a handful of songs about partying and feeling like a badass. This is an honest record, not just on the sensitive tracks, but the party tracks as well. The album is reflective of the different sides of our personalities.”

A combination of hard work, perseverance and good fortune has brought Man Made Machine to where they are now. “We always knew where we wanted to be today, and now we have a new lease on everything,” says Sena. “We knew that if we stuck it out, we would eventually get to this point; it was inevitable. If you don’t quit, you’ll get there. We never left an option open for ourselves to fail, and we’re in a good position now because of that.”

Man Made Machine is:

Joe Cotela – Vocals

Justyn Sena – Bass

Matt Reinhard – Drums

Marc Hernandez – Guitar

Steve Siminski - Guitar
Shaman's Harvest
Shaman's Harvest
Deep inside Missouri's capital city, you will find one of the most brilliant bands to emerge from the Midwest. Shaman's Harvest has formulated their own unique mix of modern and classic rock with a southern twist that has energized fans across the region. Having performed numerous dates at the renowned Blue Note in Columbia, MO ultimately prepared them to open shows for Alice In Chains, Saliva, Godsmack, Shinedown, Papa Roach, Theory Of A Deadman, Chevelle and more.

Shaman's Harvest has successfully endured a long journey and cultivated a large regional base. They continue to forge ahead with their latest full-length album Shine. Released in May 2009, this album truly showcases how their ability and talent has evolved into a dynamically original sound. "Dragonfly" is the band's first nationally released single from Shine and is currently climbing the Active and Mainstream Rock Charts. This album also features fan favorites "Turn It Up", "Strike The Slate" and the powerful, fervent ballad "Last Goodbye".