Music News and Interviews

K.A.A.N Interview

If you’re a fan of bars over bullsh*t rap, look no further than one of the DMV area’s most promising up-and-comers, K.A.A.N. The 24 year old Maryland native is a student of the greats, like Big L, 2Pac, and Big Pun, but unlike the hoards of wannabe rappers that claim the same thing, you can here their influences echoing in his extraordinarily complex and high octane raps. Go to his Soundcloud page, listen to “Kaancepts,” and try not to jump out of your chair screaming. Not gonna happen. He blesses the classic “Deep Cover” beat in a multi-syllabic double time flow that definitely has Pun smiling up in heaven.

Recently, K.A.A.N. put out a mixtape EP where he flows on the Golden Era’s most classic beats, like “Shook Ones,"Flava In Ya Ear,” and more. The EP is called “1/12/199?” and definitely worth peeping. He plans on putting out his first full project with original production some time next year, so stay tuned on his progress because I have a feeling that his name is going to ring bells sooner than later.

Listen here.

Concert Preview

Maryland Deathfest

Maryland Deathfest, the self-proclaimed biggest American metal party of the year, is quickly creeping up! With tickets having been rapidly selling since the fest’s lineup announcements last year, it is nearly impossible now to get tickets to any of the big events through the fest’s official website. Tickets to the Thursday Sonar show (Bolt Thrower) and Friday’s Soundstage show (Infest) are current in incredibly high demand.

Thursday has an extremely impressive line-up, featuring the almighty Bolt Thrower, who hardly comes to the United States as it is! Funeral doom gods Evoken are also set to play on Thursday – I’m personally especially excited to see them. Other notable acts are Japanese black-thrashers Abigail and U.S. doom lords Pallbearer. Friday features grindcore gods Repulsion, Benediction, and several other insane acts. Saturday and Sunday are also filled with incredible bands well worth seeing, such as Canada’s war metal maniacs Revenge and U.K.’s Cruciamentum.

This is most definitely not an event to miss. Previous attendants of Maryland Deathfest will tell you how awesome the food is, how crazy the shows are, and how insane the record selection is. Prepare to bring hundreds of dollars for records alone!

As for the details on the fest, as many of you may already know, it begins Thursday, May 23rd, and ends Sunday, May 26th. This is a perfect start date for college students, such as myself, who have been slaving over schoolwork all year just to get their fix of summer metal fun!

The Infest reunion is going to be absolutely insane. I’ll see you dudes in the mosh. I hope you all have your tickets!


Festival Coverage

A389 Fest Day 2

Months after the tickets rapidly sold out, the weekend for A389 fest had finally come. I was stoked to say the least that I would finally get the chance to see Canadian hardcore legends Left For Dead, along with one of my all-time favorites, Weekend Nachos. This highly-anticipated event served as a birthday celebration for the owner of A389 records. Dom, A389 Records owner, is also a member of the hardcore band Pulling Teeth. The show was at The Ottobar in Baltimore, Maryland.

The show opened with Sick Fix, a brutal female-fronted hardcore act from D.C. It was the first time I had ever seen them. Having been a fan of the demo and EP for quite some time, I was not that much into their new album at first, considering it’s pretty different in style. However, seeing them live instantly made me change my mind. The new material is definitely killer (out on A389 records). All of their stuff is great and I highly suggest them to anyone.

Pick Your Side played after Like Rats (who played a decent set). The vocalist of Pick Your Side is also the vocalist of legendary Canadian hardcore band Haymaker. Pick Your Side sounded a lot like Haymaker, but not nearly as brutal; however, I still enjoyed it. Their album is also out on A389 records.

Weekend Nachos stole the show (up to that point) with killer mosh riffs and brutal fast-paced power violence riffage. After many years of listening to Weekend Nachos, I was very excited to finally be seeing them. The crowd action was intense – arms were flying and I almost got kicked in the face about 50 times. They opened with “Pain Over Acceptance,” a truly punishing classic.

After Weekend Nachos were California power violence legends Lack Of Interest. Unfortunately, they were not even close to being my favorite band of the night. My friend, who had seen them other times, told me that it was certainly an off night for them. Regardless of whether or not they sucked, they played an Infest cover, which ruled.

Despise You, who came after Lack Of Interest, totally killed it. Despise You has always been one of my favorite power violence bands. When I saw them in Raleigh last year, I was not very satisfied. This time the crowd was crazy and the band seemed a lot more pumped to play. They played all the hits off their infamous old splits as well as tracks off their newest split with Agoraphobic Nosebleed.

After Despise You was the highlight of the night – Left For Dead. It was the first show since the early 2000’s (which was also a reunion show). Lack Of Interest was a band I came across randomly one day and immediately fell in love with. Their brutal and extremely raw approach to hardcore was something I quickly grew to appreciate. Right when they started playing their first song of the night, “Eight Floors Above,” someone jumped off the balcony and the floor became a sea of people. I found myself gasping for air at times because of the intense heat in the room. It was pretty much impossible to get to the front of the stage if you weren’t already there to begin with. It was definitely a killer show – anyone who didn’t nerd out on getting tickets within the 3 hours before they sold out definitely missed out.

Unfortunately, I was unable to take any pictures or videos of the show, but you can see a few clips at the follow links (I claim ownership to none of the following materials):

Left For Dead –

Despise You –

Weekend Nachos –