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V.24 No.47 | 11/19/2015
Caleb Shomo

Caleb Shomo is Beartooth

Shane Told of Silverstein has created a podcast called Lead Singer Syndrome. The show is about lead singers in the alternative music scene and their life and struggles as told by themselves. The first episode is an interview with Caleb Shomo of Beartooth, formerly Attack! Attack!, and was recorded during Warped Tour 2015. As a huge fan of Beartooth, I was excited to listen to Shomo's first hand account of his career and the path he's taken.

Shomo started touring when he was 15 as a keyboardist with the band Attack! Attack!, eventually making his way to lead singer. I never was really into A!A! and after listening to the interview, I realize I wasn't the only one (it seems comparable to how people feel about Black Veil Brides, you love them or hate them). Shomo talks about the depression and ADHD that he dealt with prior to being a musician and those same health issues coupled with eating disorders and alcoholism that surfaced fully while working in A!A!

I found Shomo very relatable. While I may not be a professional musician, I'm also in my early 20s and have dealt with many of these things, too: depression, ADHD, eating disorders, alcoholism, being with people who aren't good for me, etc. And to hear one of my favorite musicians talk about their personal experiences and considering how that translates to their music is almost cathartic. I feel like I really connect to Beartooth on a deeper level than before.

I was surprised to learn that all the recording for Beartooth's album was done by Shomo. He wrote all the lyrics and recorded all the instruments for the album Sick. The four other members are featured for touring and live music in general. Beartooth has been astonishingly well received and for that all to be based on the experiences and the talent of one person is incredible. Sick comes straight from Shomo's heart and is his truth. While musing over being a highly metaphorical writer, Shomo says in his songs he alludes to his struggles with Attack! Attack! and his depression and suicidal thoughts that come from them. The day after he wrote the song "I Have a Problem" he quit A!A!

Most people that have listened to the album would assume that he wrote a lot about alcoholism and substance abuse issues, but that was all metaphorical, although he has dealt with alcoholism. He says it's easier for people to understand and accept that musicians deal with substance abuse issues rather than mental issues such as depression, which can be argued about most people with mental health issues.

The primary focus in this podcast is Shomo's journey with Attack! Attack! which Shomo hasn't spoken very much about, so it's very illuminating for folks that have been following him for the last seven years. Originally Shomo was the keyboardist and transitioned to guitar then to lead (clean and unclean) vocalist. After being signed to Rise Records via myspace, A!A! began recording their first album shortly after. Someday Came Suddenly, A!A!'s first recorded album after being signed, sold approximately 150,000 in the first year of sales which came as a huge surprise to most people considering the amount of criticism they received.

Told is an excellent interviewer, and is able to ask very perceptive questions because he's been an active musician for well over a decade. He's able to relate to his guest on a very personal level. Told is very astute and able to draw out some wonderfully insightful observations and stories. New episodes are released every Monday for the foreseeable future and I plan on listening to every single one.

V.21 No.44 | 11/1/2012

Music

Sonic reductions of Alien Space Kitchen, Lightning Bolt and Tamaryn

In this week’s Sonic Reducer, Geoff Plant and M. Brianna Stallings review releases from Alien Space Kitchen, Lightning Bolt and Tamaryn. Watch music videos from featured bands after the jump.

V.21 No.2 | 1/12/2012

Music

Car Thief Steals Your Face

Hardcore thrash metal outfit, Car Thief's new self-titled album is a blistering ride down a highway of bite-sized ragers. Short and salty (as opposed to sweet), the album's roster of 2 minute face-shredders blends high-speed guitar and bass stylings with growl/scream vocals to create a noisy melange of slammin' sound. A particular stand out on the record, Pre Load, takes the listener through a litany of change-ups without missing a beat. Their CD Release party at Burt's this Saturday night with DeadMary, Music is the Enemy, and Asscobra is gonna be a balls-out good time.

V.20 No.13 | 3/31/2011

[click to enlarge]

Flyer on the Wall

Bands Ahoy!

Out-of-towners The Anchor and Fiction Reform perform with local punkers Stabbed in Back, Adam Hooks & His Hangups and Emergency Ahead. The first three of the five bands are playing the Way Out West Fest in Tucson, Ariz., hence the show’s moniker, “Quest for W.O.W. Fest!” (Which could easily be confused with a gathering of massively multiplayer online role-playing gamer dorks.) Bands play for the win at Amped (4200 Lomas NE) on Wednesday, April 6, at 6 p.m. Admission to the all-ages show is seven gold.

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V.19 No.45 | 11/11/2010
Bad Religion will tell you about anarchy   and   sexual selection as seen in the peafowl.
Myriam Santos

Spotlight

There’s a Ph.D. in the Mosh Pit

Bad Religion celebrates 30 years of intellect

The early punks and pre-punks openly pursued starry-eyed deals with major record labels. The majors, however, felt burned by commercial failure and unprofessionalism (New York Dolls: “They’re junkies!” The Sex Pistols: “Loudmouth yobs!”) and wanted little to do with bands that followed. Smelling further disaster, the majors backed off until “safe” acts tagged as new wave appeared.

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