She Wants Revenge with Benzos and MellowDrone
Fri., Sept. 15; 8:30 p.m.
Taking the bad boy lead
by Leslie Benson
They exude lust. They’re poison…. What little heartbreakers.
Baritone Justin Warfield and bassist “Adam 12” Bravin of Los Angeles-based She Wants Revenge revitalize Interpol and Joy Division’s sound with more synth-pop and trip-hop beats. Ironically, Bravin’s musical background stems from rap. His album, My Field Trip to Planet 9 (1993), produced by Prince Paul, sets the pace for his later interests in bass-driven songs.
“The first instruments I ever learned to play were turntables and samplers,” Bravin says. “So there is a lot of hip-hop influence in the music.”
But don’t let that fool you — the duo’s sound is far from anything 50 Cent could ever cook up. Riding the wave of overwhelming fan support for its first album, She Wants Revenge caught ears in 2005 with the single, “Out of Control.” “We never expected to have an album out,” says Bravin. “We were kind of making music for ourselves. Now people are connecting with the songs emotionally.”
It helps that Michael Patterson, mixer of Beck and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club albums, also mixed their CD, landing the boys as opening act for Depeche Mode’s 2006 tour. “Having the opportunity to tour with them was a dream come true,” says Bravin. “We learned a lot about stage presence and how to reinterpret songs live. Many bands in that position let it go to their heads, but Depeche Mode are the sweetest guys. There’s no ego in that band.”
With lyrics that evoke scenes of unbridled new love, (Warfield sings lines like “…Just give me the safe word, take your hand and smack me in the mouth” on “Monologue,”) these songs may stick in your head like summer-stewed sidewalk gum.
“When we first started, I met somebody, a rather dark person, who was different than anyone I had ever been with,” says Bravin. “I had previously been writing happy, beautiful music, and because of this girl and the literature she opened me up to, I started writing dark music. Of course, I also used to listen to New Order and Bauhaus, so that influenced me as well.”
Actor Joaquin Phoenix liked the band so much that he produced the wicked “Tear You Apart” video, with Warfield and Bravin as the saviors of a young teen girl with a terrible secret. In the video “These Things,” Shirley Manson of Garbage fame stars as the dominatrix who holds the unassuming bandmates hostage.
NUVO realized, though, that She Wants Revenge aren’t really bad boys after all — just inspired reflections of all the bad girls out there. “We’re far from being trouble-makers,” says Bravin. “We’re really a chill crew.”
Bullet For My Valentine invades X-Fest
By Ellen Kizik
Godsmack, Rob Zombie, Shinedown, Buckcherry, Bullet For My Valentine, Alien Ant Farm, Eighteen Visions, The Classic Crime
Verizon Wireless Music Center
Saturday, Sept. 16
Bullet For My Valentine will make their second Indianapolis appearance on the second stage at WRZX X103’s X-Fest 2006. Hailing from South Whales, the four-piece metal band consists of Matthew ‘Matt’ Tuck (Vocals/Guitar), Michael ‘Padge’ Padget (Guitar), Jason ‘Jay’ James (Bass), and Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas (Drums). BFMV call Trustkill Records their home and have accomplished more in the past year than many bands do in years.
BFMV, who made their first Indy appearance last fall at the Emerson Theater supporting fellow label mates It Dies Today, can be compared to some of Europe’s best metal bands such as In Flames, Venom and even Motorhead. Last spring, BFMV toured with Lacuna Coil and Rob Zombie, who will be performing on the main stage at X-Fest. Although they ended up leaving the tour halfway for personal reasons, BFMV came back stronger than ever and spent the summer touring with the likes of Metallica and Iron Maiden.
These young lads have revitalized the old school metal genre, incorporating some brutally honest lyrics intertwined with complex distorted guitar melodies that are characteristic of the classic metal gods.
“If there is one thing we want to be recognized for, it’s our f***ing amazing guitar riffs,” said Padge.
In an attempt to steer clear of copying the metal gods that came before them, BFMV has modernized the genre with the incorporation of American style hardcore which is evident in some of the screaming choruses.
BFMV’s first album titled Hand of Blood is a six song compilation that delves into relationships and personal struggles. With songs such as “4 Words (to choke upon),” “Cries in Vain” and “No Control,” and “Suffocating Under Words Sorrow,” BFMV makes it hard not to head bang. BFMV’s full length debut, The Poison, which was released on Valentine’s Day, is one of the best metal albums to come out this year. Their second U.S. single, “Tears Don‘t Fall,” is on constant rotation on X103.
Despite a solid European following which I bore witness to firsthand in June when they played the main stage at the Rock AM Ring music festival in Nurburguring, Germany, Bullet for My Valentine has embraced the opportunity to expand their fan base here in the states. Their live performances are anything but ordinary; BFMV exudes energy and delivers a solid show every time. They adapt well to any environment, whether playing an intimate club setting or in front of 50,000 festival goers. Their stage presence is reminiscent of some legendary metal bands such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, which can be witnessed at this year’s X-Fest.