Blast http://blastmagazine.com Video Game Reviews, Music, Movies, TV, Gen-Y Issues Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:01:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 5 Windows 8 Games You Shouldn’t Skip http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/5-windows-8-games-shouldnt-skip/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/5-windows-8-games-shouldnt-skip/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:01:00 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93397 Games offer a distraction, are something to pass the time and can sometimes get quite addictive. The Windows 8 Store offers games, both free and paid to offer you something to pass the time on the train, challenge your brain, or join a friend in some friendly competition. Windows 8 offers excellent graphics, allowing for(...)

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Games offer a distraction, are something to pass the time and can sometimes get quite addictive. The Windows 8 Store offers games, both free and paid to offer you something to pass the time on the train, challenge your brain, or join a friend in some friendly competition. Windows 8 offers excellent graphics, allowing for a quality gaming experience. As for categories in the Windows 8 app store, games are consistently one of the top. If you are a member of Xbox Live, some games, indicated as xbox companion, can also be played with friends through that platform.

For the Wordsmith

7 Little Words combines several types of puzzle and word games. If you like crosswords, this is a new twist on the game for you! This free game will give players hours of brain challenging fun that will help keep their brain active. Incorporating elements of different types of word games, including anagrams, there is something for anyone who loves word puzzles.

For the Fast Paced Gamer

Asphalt 8: Airborne brings you onto the racetrack, while bringing you back in time to the feeling of being at the arcade. At the reasonable price of $1.99, it offers both single and multi-player options with dozens of fast cars to race in. With fast cars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, you can feel like a racecar driver from the comfort of home! Race in beautiful locations such as Italy, the desert and more!

For the Puzzler

Bejeweled Live is a matching game which can quickly become addictive. Players match jewels, racing against time to reach new levels. With several game modes, players are offered different options for playing the game. The graphics, sounds and sparkly images as you go through the game allow for an exciting gaming experience.

For the Sports Enthusiast

BasketBall 3D is listed in the Windows Store as the best game in 122 countries! Practice your shooting skills in 3 different modes in unbelievable 3D graphics. This game feels as if you threw on your sneakers and ran over to the court to shoot some hoops.

For the Music Lover

Piano Tiles allows you to play songs, but also incorporates a puzzle element by not allowing you to touch the white tiles. This free game has several levels, giving the player hours of musical fun! This game can get addictive, trying to avoid the white tiles while playing one of your favorite songs.

Another option for those interested in Marvel Comics and Marvel slots is Mansion Casino. Mansion Casino works on all platforms and allows you to play your favorite casino games for free or win real money betting against the house. But if you do not want to wager, you can practice your skills with Mansion’s quickly loading games with excellent graphics and sound.

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Blast Interview: Arch Enemy http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-arch-enemy/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-arch-enemy/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 23:13:28 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93388 Arch Enemy has been going through a lot of changes recently. After the change in the line up—with Alissa White-Gluz replacing former lead singer Angela Gossow—the Swedish melodic death metal band has released a new album, War Eternal, and kicked off their U.S. tour. Blast’s Sinan Pehlivanoglu caught up with the band in one of(...)

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Arch Enemy has been going through a lot of changes recently. After the change in the line up—with Alissa White-Gluz replacing former lead singer Angela Gossow—the Swedish melodic death metal band has released a new album, War Eternal, and kicked off their U.S. tour. Blast’s Sinan Pehlivanoglu caught up with the band in one of their first stops, in Worcester. Be sure to check out his interview with founding member and guitarist Michael Amott below.

The show started with the opening track of the latest album, “Tempore Nihil Sanat”, giving every member time to come on stage one by one, followed by “Enemy Within” from their earlier album Wages of Sin. The set list included almost all of the band’s old famous songs from Angela Gossow’s era. Including “Ravenous”, “Revolution Begins”, “My Apocalypse”, “Blood Stained Cross”, and many more. Besides all these, the band played both of their famous singles from their latest album; “War Eternal” and “You will Know My Name”. Alissa White-Gluz nailed all of the songs and gave a great performance. The fans seemed to adapt to her style quickly and like her a lot.

The show consisted of two encores towards the end. The first one included the famous song “Yesterday is Dead and Gone”, whereas “Nemesis” was played during the second one. The stage decoration did not include much other than some art consisting of the figures in the artwork of the “War Eternal”, however the energy of the band members was more than enough to keep the fire burning and push the audience into mosh pits and crowd surfing.

 

 

Blast Magazine: So let me start with the usual question. The tour has just kicked off. How is it? How’d you expect it to be?

Michael Amott: This will be the third show. It has been great. We played Baltimore and we played NYC last night. Good stuff, it’s exciting to be back. It has been three years and yeah, back with a new album, new line up. We are here with Kreator, one of my favorite trash bands. Fantastic.

Blast: You just released a cover of Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law”, and it received a good response from fans. How did you decide to cover Priest?

Amott: That just came out of fun, studio jam. It is a really, really famous song; we usually cover more obscure tracks we are into. But we worked on it a little bit, tried to make it Arch Enemy-ish and just have fun with it. It is not something too serious you know. But it is a tribute. Priest is one of our main influences.

Blast: You released the album War Eternal a few months ago; how has it been received?

Amott: I like it. [Fan’s responses are] very, very positive and you know, it has been very well received. We cannot ask for anything more than that. We don’t really think about the album when we are creating it. We create our music, we don’t really consider other people’s opinions. Or the media people, you know, because you need to write from your heart. That is what we do. You cannot guess what people are going to be into. Not everybody has to like it. We are getting a lot of new fans and our old fans seem to like it so it’s great.

Blast: What was your best memory from the recording process?

Amott: Writing is always fun. Very creative; open blank pages. I enjoy that a lot. Doing all the demos and stuff. But I have also worked with a strings arranger for the first time, you know recording real strings, real symphony orchestra and stuff. Three songs plus the intro of the album: a total new experience. I went out to his house and kind of showed him what the songs were about and he took it from there, came back with very cool suggestions. We worked those. Recording with real strings was a great experience. Although it is not something really unique, it was totally new for us.

Also working with Alissa, she is amazing. She is pretty much a song-writer’s dream, cause she can do anything with her voice. Very strong voice and very talented writer as well. It was great working with her.

Blast: You had a lot of changes right before the recording process. Was it really hard for you to record this album?

Amott: No, but it made us think a little bit more. We had to do a little bit more than we normally do. Some pretty heavy news and some big changes. We also had a lot of time to write good stuff. We circled around the material, kind of reworked it. Added, subtracted parts.

Blast: How you do you think people are doing, with adapting to Alissa?

Amott: Very well, I am surprised. I am surprised how smooth that transition has been. I can’t believe it. I was thinking we would fall back and slowly work it out back to where we were. I was thinking some people might not like it, but they have been so positive. I guess a change is not always a bad thing.

Blast: In her previous band, Agonist, she was also well known for her clean vocals apart from the growls and screams. I know it is really not your thing but can we expect more of those in the future?

Amott: Who knows? It is early days. We are not thinking about a new album yet. But it depends on where we land. We never had that, a singer who could do those vocals. You know, with that kind of strength. So it is kind of a new weapon in our arsenal. And we don’t know what to do with it yet. Who knows what happens in the future?

Michael Amott of Arch Enemy. Media credit to Facebook.com

Michael Amott of Arch Enemy. Media credit to Facebook.com

Blast: I ask this of many bands from Europe: how would you compare Sweden to the U.S.?

Amott: It is like comparing Saturn to Mars. Two different worlds. It is a different scene over here. Very very different on different levels. Politics, society, people, the general structure. Very different. Everything looks different, like architecture. We go all over the world. Arch Enemy is a global band. We are really lucky, you know? When it comes to the metal scene, everybody has that same passion you know? Music is a universal thing.

Blast: Who are your influences?

Amott: I [find] influence from everything. Classic, hard rock, and heavy stuff, you know, and into to trash and death metal stuff along with the growls. Our influences range from Megadeth, Slayer to Judas Priest. There is a lot of stuff. And not only metal stuff, there is also other music we are into. I get energy from other music and put that in there too. We are still the same band; I wanted something like classical influences and more fast drumming, extreme vocals, really intense with some energy.

Blast: Do you think there will be a fan club in the future?

Amott: We don’t have an official fan club. We tried it once, didn’t work out. You know you need to work really hard; maybe we will try it again in the future. We have a French fan club, a fan started that club and it has got over a thousand members and its really active. The founder is becoming a good friend. You know, that is a really cool thing.

Blast: Any last thing to say to fans, or to any musicians out there?

Amott: We really thank them. We never take it for granted that people will listen to the songs we create or the guitar I play. That gives me a lot of energy right there; I makes me want to be better.

 

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Do Intense Video Games Make You Smarter? http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/intense-video-games-make-smarter/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/intense-video-games-make-smarter/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:33:11 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93382 Depending on how, when, and where you play them, video games can serve many purposes. They can be used to simply pass the time between classes or work shifts or when you’re commuting. Or you can play them after all those things are done as a way to wind down. Then there are the competitive(...)

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Depending on how, when, and where you play them, video games can serve many purposes. They can be used to simply pass the time between classes or work shifts or when you’re commuting. Or you can play them after all those things are done as a way to wind down. Then there are the competitive gamers, who are actually having a bit of a moment right now, according to articles like this one from IBTimes. But here’s the thing, it’s actually “what” you’re playing that matters most—at least, that’s the case when you’re trying to increase your brainpower.

No joke, it’s now been proven that playing video games can make you more intelligent, though it all depends on which game you’re popping in your console, PC, etc. WorldCrunch reports that a new study from cognitive professor Daphné Bavelier revealed that your brainpower will improve through playing fast-paced games.

More often than not, these are the games that are on the more violent side of things, like the new Call of Duty (seen in this article’s photo) or the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto V. What Bavelier found in her study that playing in a violent, turbulent world causes you to react more quickly and solve problems at a rapid pace. Such is not the case with a game like The Sims, which half the players in Bavelier’s study were tasked with playing.

In comparing the two groups of gamers, to quote WorldCrunch, “Those who played FPS improved significantly, whereas no improvement at all was observed with the other players.”

The thing is, you don’t necessarily have to play a bloody, violent game to see these results. As anyone who’s played games for an extended period of time knows full well, intense games don’t require ridiculous amounts of violence. Just look to latest games in the Super Mario franchise if you need an example. For those who haven’t played Wii U title Super Mario 3D World, I can tell you that it gets super-intense at an almost-alarming rate. That’s particularly true in the final levels, when you’re tasked with some of the most difficult, borderline-impossible challenges ever. And like with its more violent counterparts, the Mario game makes sure that if you’re going to finish it completely, you’ll have to think pretty damn quickly!

In addition to not-so-mature games like Mario, intensity can come your way playing fast-paced arcade games. Online hub InterCasino makes note of this fact by asking gamers to dig into their “thrilling gaming experience.” What’s interesting here is how that “thrill” all depends on how frantic you want the game to be—much like with console/PC games that become harder with an increased difficulty. Want one of their titles to be especially intense? Just increase the number of lines or try something with more hectic animations, like the Street Fighter II game.

The point, again, is that you don’t have to grab the latest “Rated M” title for your console if you’re looking to smarten up while playing something on your PS4. Just go for something that you know can guarantee a frenetic atmosphere and let your mind take over. Then, once you’re down with a gaming session, let the jerk who told you video games will rot your brain that they had it all wrong. How you do that, of course, is all up to you.

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The Blast Interview: Down With Webster http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-webster/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-webster/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 02:45:34 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93374 This past Thursday, Blast’s Madeline Knutson had the chance to interview Martin “Bucky” Seja, Patrick “Pat” Gillett and Cameron “Camm” Hunter from the band Down With Webster before their concert at the House of Blues. Opening the show for Timeflies, the guys have been performing together since their high school talent show. Starting a new(...)

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This past Thursday, Blast’s Madeline Knutson had the chance to interview Martin “Bucky” Seja, Patrick “Pat” Gillett and Cameron “Camm” Hunter from the band Down With Webster before their concert at the House of Blues. Opening the show for Timeflies, the guys have been performing together since their high school talent show. Starting a new tour on Jan. 14, all five members of the band create a unique sound that is almost impossible to describe.

 

Blast Magazine: You guys have progressively become more famous since you won “Best Unsigned Recognition” in the contest from Rogers Mobile. What is your ultimate music goal and how has becoming more famous affected you guys, if at all?

Hunter: Our goal is just to write songs that people love. Popularity hasn’t changed us really. We’re still the same people. That’s partially because we’ve all know each other since we were eleven or twelve years old and it helps when you are surrounded by friends that have known you for a long time.

Blast: For those people who don’t really know you guys, how would you describe your sound?

Hunter: I wouldn’t describe our sound. It’s absolutely all over the place. I have no idea and I can’t put a name on it. Just go listen.

Seja: I’d say if you could name a band to every song that’s on your iPod and that was a band, that’s kinda what we sound like.

Hunter: Go listen and tweet us and tell us what you think.

The guys of Down with Webster. Media credit: DownwithWebster.com

The guys of Down with Webster. Media credit: DownwithWebster.com

Blast: Before releasing your latest album, Party for your Life, you released the album Time to Win. You released it in two parts (one in 2009 and one in 2011). What was the reasoning behind doing that and where did the idea for the most recent title come from?

Hunter: The reasoning originally was that there were supposed to be two half albums that made up one full album. It just turned into being full albums so that whole idea went out the window.

Gillett: We really set ourselves up for a doozy by calling the first one volume one. It meant we had to follow it up with something (a volume two).

Hunter: The original idea was just thrown out the window and it just got turned into two albums. For our recent album, Pat came up with the song “Party for Your Life” and it was a cool song. We said it kinda sums up the feeling of the record and we just went with it. We have been partying for our lives for quite some time now. It felt appropriate.

Blast: You guys are currently on tour with Timeflies and will be on tour with Jonny Craig, Kyle Lucas and Captain Midnite! starting Jan. 14. Who would you most like to collaborate with in the future and why?

Hunter: That’s always a tough question because we have so many voices on our track and our music is all over the place. So it’d be one of those things where we have to get in the room with someone and if amazing music came out of it, then great. But I can’t off hand think of one particular group or person. We’ve been talking a lot about doing a feature with a girl because we’ve never had a girl on any of our records and I think it would be a cool dynamic.

Blast: Where has been your favorite place to perform and where would you most like to perform in the future?

Hunter: Probably the best place has been Toronto. We played a couple Toronto shows that were just insane cause that’s our hometown and it was nuts. But we love any big city. We love LA, we love NY and Boston’s big. The name of the game for us is to keep making music and play bigger shows. We may go to Australia, because we got signed out there like five months ago and there’s been talk of getting us out there on some festival stuff. We have never been to Australia before but Bucky is half-Australian (his mom is) but we’ve never been out there.

Blast: Your first group performance was at a talent show together. How do you feel that you guys have changed sound-wise and individually since then?

Seja It’s been natural. Like when you grow up, you change. You’re still you but you’re not the same person you were 10 years ago.

Hunter: We’ve just got better at what we do individually and figured out what our place in the band is. It’s become more honed in. it was a lot more scattered back in the day.

Blast: What is the best piece of advice any of you have for an aspiring musician?

Seja: Do it because you love music, not because you want to get famous.

Hunter: Keep at it. We’ve been doing it for a really long time and it’s always a number of things that have to go right for it to be right. So keep doing it because you love doing it and want to make music. Don’t get discouraged.

 

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The Blast Interview: The Foster’s Caitlin Carver http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-fosters-caitlin-carver/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-fosters-caitlin-carver/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:25:28 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93364 The Foster’s Caitlin Carver doesn’t just play a dancer on TV-she’s the real deal. The multi-talented actress is a classically trained dancer, making her the perfect fit for the role of Hayley, the star of the school’s dance team on the ABC Family hit. “I owe everything to dancing,” said Carver. Still, she’s decided to move(...)

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The Foster’s Caitlin Carver doesn’t just play a dancer on TV-she’s the real deal. The multi-talented actress is a classically trained dancer, making her the perfect fit for the role of Hayley, the star of the school’s dance team on the ABC Family hit.

“I owe everything to dancing,” said Carver. Still, she’s decided to move past her roots and transition from dance to the world of the small screen.

Blast Magazine’s Georgeanne Oliver spoke with Carver about her past training, her future goals, and, of course, her current run as Hayley.

Q: How much did you know about the show when you went in?

A: I watched the entire first season, cause I was actually really good friends with Maya Mitchell, who plays Callie, and I remember when she filmed the pilot for The Foster, which was like over a year ago now, and she was telling me about it and I was like “Oh, it sounds like a great show!” And then when they got picked up and it started airing, I started watching it just cause I wanted to support her and then all of a sudden I became, like, addicted to the show!

Q: How much did you know ahead of time about Hayley?

A: I had no clue that my character would be getting involved with Jesus. Not a clue at all! I remember I went to the table read for episode 3 and I’d just gotten the script right before I went and I started reading it and there was this scene that he and I were hooking up at a party and I was like “Oh my gosh!”.

Q: How does the show compare to work you’ve done in the past?

A: I think when I first moved to LA, I was doing a lot more dancing. Not that I pushed my acting career behind or away from me. I just-the dance jobs were there and it was money and it was work and I was having a blast, so I really started off as a dancer. I’m mostly doing acting stuff now-on the Fosters, I get to dance a little bit too, which is kind of of like the best of both worlds. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Q: So you are classically trained as a dancer. What was growing up like that like?

A: I thank my mom for putting me in dance, cause I think that’s the reason why I’m here right now. I’m forced to be really professional. I mean, a good actor is wonderful, but you want to work with someone too who’s kind and professional and gets there on time and knows their lines, and I think, like, growing up as a dancer and being so disciplined in that way has really helped me in my career in general.

Q: Was that transition from dancing to acting gradual or did you make a conscious decision to swap over to acting as a primary focus?

A: I did a little bit [of acting] in high school and I think I always knew that I loved acting. I just wasn’t sure how to get into it from there and, like I said, the dance stuff kind of came easy for me, so I just started doing that. Whenever I wasn’t filming, it wasn’t my scene, I’d kind of step back from it all and watch the actors, because it was so inspiring to me. I think just being on those sets as a dancer but also taking that step back and just watching them and learning from them, that really inspired me and made me realize how much I loved acting and how I kind of missed it. I booked a couple guest stars on shows and then I think it was like a couple months later when I got the call for The Fosters. You can’t be a dancer forever, cause nobody’s body’s cut out for that.

Q: Where do you hope see Hayley and her relationship with Jesus go? Smooth relationship or a little drama?

A: I think the drama’s no question. For some reason, Hayley seems to come with that. I would really like to see her just be happy and try to make it work a little bit better. She is, like, super opinionated and needs her way all the time and kind of does whatever she can to get her way.

Q: She’s certainly not a bad person, but she is a very dramatic person.

A: Yah, very dramatic. She’s so hot and cold.

Q: Do you try and make her likable or do you have fun with the drama?

A: I definitely have fun with it, cause, I mean, in real life I don’t think of myself as a manipulator, a needy person. Hayley’s very needy. I think that I try and find ways for everyone to like every character that I play. People like being able to connect with people that they’re watching on TV.

Q: The Foster has received a lot of credit for being an extremely progressive show. How important is it to you to have your work have a social conscience like that?

A: Extremely important. I think it really is addressing things that happen in today’s society. It’s all these issues that are happening and a lot of TV shows don’t deal with them and don’t acknowledge them, and I think that’s why we’ve gotten so much recognition from it. We’re finally sharing these stories.

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Four fitness gadgets you need http://blastmagazine.com/technology/health-and-fitness/four-fitness-gadgets-need/ http://blastmagazine.com/technology/health-and-fitness/four-fitness-gadgets-need/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:36:35 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93359 We live in a health conscious world. Almost 66 percent of males and 56 percent of females claim to meet recommended weekly exercise guidelines. However, for all the benefits of exercise it cannot help but be onerous and mundane. It is for this reason why the numbers of participants is not higher. Exercise is a(...)

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We live in a health conscious world. Almost 66 percent of males and 56 percent of females claim to meet recommended weekly exercise guidelines. However, for all the benefits of exercise it cannot help but be onerous and mundane. It is for this reason why the numbers of participants is not higher. Exercise is a bore, but it is a bore that will extend your life.

Thankfully, we live in the 21st Century. Thanks to advances in technology not only is exercise less of a chore, but also far more beneficial and efficient. Health related apps are some of the most popular in the Apple Store, while health related gadgets are also doing very good business.

Of course partaking in sport does not just mean running on a treadmill. There are numerous sports in the world, all of which do your body a world of good. Riding a horse, playing a game of football, heck even the odd game of darts does your body some good.

Below are some of the better gadgets and applications you should consider investing in.

Nike FuelBand – $99

For starters this wristband looks absolutely fantastic. Motivation is always the hardest aspect of staying in shape and that is what Nike have tried to counter with their FuelBand. Born out of the ashes of a simple stepometer, this gadget not only counts your steps but, via connecting to your phone through Bluetooth, can track your sleep and the intensity of your workout. The innovative “Nike Fuel” point system allows you to compare yourself to other users regardless of the sport you undertake. Even it was just used for a fashion accessory it still looks pretty cool. If you struggle to motivate yourself then investing in one of these bands is certainly the way forward.

GoPro Hero 4 and Helmet Mount – $599

Once you GoPro you never go back. The cameras are a marvel for anyone that partakes in any sort of high octane sport. On the slopes nowadays it is nigh on impossible to not see someone boarding down the piste without one mounted to their head. Horse riding is another sport where possessing a GoPro is extremely advantageous; especially if you are a show jumper or a wannabee jockey. Being able to replay your ride helps you get a deeper analysis of your horse’s performance. You can further scrutinise your approach to jumps, and this is of huge importance; even more so if you get dismounted. Combining a GoPro with your sporting endeavour helps you further your understanding of it. You never know, because of the work you put in during these formative years your horse could one day be the winner of the Grand National 2015.

Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale – $205

Everyone has a love-hate relationship with the scales. There are times when you can step off with feelings of euphoria and elation then there are the times of mass hysteria and manic depression, at least with the Fitbit you can have more of the former and less of the latter. Not only do they tell you your weight but they track your weight changes, monitor your BMI and body fat percentage. The data gets uploaded via the internet allowing you to check your progress on your iPhone. The scales are capable of tracking seven people.

FINIS SwiMP3 – $99

Have you ever found yourself swimming and thinking how much better it would be if you could listen to some music? If so, the FINIS SwiMP3 is the answer to your prayers. Using revolutionary Bone Conduction audio transmission, the MP3 allows for crisp, uninterrupted sound. These things don’t even go in your ears, rather your cheekbones. Yes that’s right, it transmits sound via your cheeks. It sounds implausible but then you put it on and it sounds like The Prodigy’s Omen; you’ve gotta be pumped when smashing out the lengths. With 2GB of memory these little things can store around 500 songs, or if you like a more tranquil swim then loading it with audio books would be perfect.

The marketplace is awash with loads of cool and useful gizmos for helping you stay in shape. Keeping fit is by no means a cakewalk so don’t be foolish, make it easy on yourself!

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Infographic: The Top 10 Sexiest Male Characters on TV http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/infographic-top-10-sexiest-male-characters-tv/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/tv/infographic-top-10-sexiest-male-characters-tv/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:25:27 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93354 Who is the sexiest male character on TV? Chances are you’ll be surprised who makes the top 10. Thats because in a recent online poll to discover who are the most dateable characters on TV… vampires, psychopaths and serial killers dominated the top spots. Apparently the blood sucking nocturnal types make ideal boyfriend material! As(...)

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Who is the sexiest male character on TV? Chances are you’ll be surprised who makes the top 10.

Thats because in a recent online poll to discover who are the most dateable characters on TV… vampires, psychopaths and serial killers dominated the top spots.

Apparently the blood sucking nocturnal types make ideal boyfriend material!

As strange as it may seem, you can actually learn a lot about the type of man women truly desire from the TV characters they’re obsessed with.

So Dating Metrics – who conducted the online poll – trawled through 53 “sexiest TV character” list posts and counted 444 votes to find out exactly who women love and why they love them so much.

And after collecting the results, they put all their “disturbing” findings into a fun vampire themed infographic.

The infographic looks at the ratio of bad boys vs. nice guys, which traits the characters have in common, and even how they dress to impress.

Want a sneak peek of their findings?

The award for “sexiest TV character” goes to Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries. He was closely followed by Don Draper from Mad Men, and Eric Northman from True Blood.

Here’s why women are hot for these guys:

#1 Damon Salvatore

“He’s strong, damaged, intensely masculine, hilariously funny, and he’s the epitome of a wounded soul. Even for a vampire, he’s a complete psychopath. He’s not afraid to say what’s exactly on his mind and be the bad guy to ultimately reach his goals…Damon knows that Elena can redeem him. And deep down, he truly wants to be redeemed. And as the seasons progress, it’s his transformation to a reformed bad boy that makes him such a hit with the ladies.”

#2 Don Draper

“The stoic, womanizing, alcohol-swilling Don Draper is truly a bad boy. A mysterious and incredibly talented 60s advertising executive with a hidden past. Don Draper is a man’s man. He sees something he wants, and he takes it. His ruthless business tactics and seductive ploys are a total turn-on. He’s also a giant mess, but that just appeals to women even more, because he’s like a project you’re trying to fix.”

#3 Eric Northman

“Hottest dirtbag vampire no question. He’s an emotionally twisted, human-hating badass. He has no qualms about asserting his strength and position…every bit the sadistic, dangerous lead villain we expected him to be. Eric also has a great sense of humor, and can lighten even the darkest of moments with his wit and charm.”

To see the full results of the online poll and discover the character traits that get girlfriends, take a look at the infographic below:

TV Vampires, Psychopaths & Serial Killers: Perfect Boyfriend Material?

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Wildcat! Wildcat! comes to Allston http://blastmagazine.com/features/wildcat-wildcat-comes-allston/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/wildcat-wildcat-comes-allston/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 05:55:14 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93347 Los Angeles-based synthpop trio Wildcat! Wildcat! is coming to Boston on Nov. 21. The band will taking their No Moon At All tour to Allston’s Great Scott. Since releasing their debut album, No Moon At All, the trio comprised of bassist Jesse Taylor, drummer Jesse Carmichael and keyboardist Michael Wilson–all of whom contribute vocals–has been touring the U.S.(...)

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Los Angeles-based synthpop trio Wildcat! Wildcat! is coming to Boston on Nov. 21. The band will taking their No Moon At All tour to Allston’s Great Scott. Since releasing their debut album, No Moon At All, the trio comprised of bassist Jesse Taylor, drummer Jesse Carmichael and keyboardist Michael Wilson–all of whom contribute vocals–has been touring the U.S. with supporting act Sun Club.

No Moon at All, the debut album of American synthpop band Wildcat! Wildcat! released August 2014.

No Moon at All, the debut album of American synthpop band Wildcat! Wildcat! released August 2014.

For those who may not know of Wildcat! Wildcat!, the band has been featured on NPR’s World Cafe and opened for English indie-rock band alt-J for the Western U.S. leg of alt-j’s tour in 2012. Though they only released their debut album this past August, the trio dropped a number of singles and a few EPs in the past two years, and went on to play South by Southwest in 2013. Certainly, this is a group to keep your eye on in the future; it seems evident that if they continue on the path they’ve carved so far, Taylor, Carmichael and Wilson are sure to go far.

Stay tuned for a review by Blast’s Madeline Knutson, or catch the show yourself on Nov. 21. Tickets are available via Great Scott, but be aware that the show is 21+. Tickets are $10.00 adv / $12.00 the day of and the doors open at 10 p.m.

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Dumb and Dumber To – Movie Review http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/reviews-movies/dumb-dumber-movie-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/reviews-movies/dumb-dumber-movie-review/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:00:03 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93337 On (and off) the road again with Lloyd and Harry

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Dumb and Dumber To

Dumb and Dumber To

The biggest disappointment about Dumb and Dumber To is that it was not filmed in Rhode Island. The directors of the movie, Peter and Bobby Farrelly are, famously, Rhode Island natives, and their careers took off in 1994 after the release of Dumb and Dumber, much of which was filmed in the Ocean State.

Again and again the Farrelly brothers returned to Rhode Island to film movies, but not so for their latest release, the sequel to the 1994 film. The film tax credits in Georgia, so it seems, were too great a lure, and so the Farrellys went South to shoot.

And that’s the real shame. Rhode Island may have one of the weakest economies in New England at the moment. It could have used the business.

Oh, what’s that you say? What about the movie? Well, if I must I must.

1994’s Dumb and Dumber was a road comedy about two imbeciles, Lloyd and Harry, trying to track down a woman. That’s all I remember about the plot, and that’s all you need to know. The movie’s strength was in the performances of Jim Carrey (Lloyd) and Jeff Daniels (Harry), and its outrageousness. Slapstick, pottymouth, sex jokes and bodily function humor were never earned so well in Dumb and Dumber. Furthermore, if you grew up in the 1980s or 1990s lines such as “So you’re saying there’s a chance?” were iconic.

Dumb and Dumber was, perhaps, the first post modern road movie. Post modern because it epitomized the maxim, “it’s not where you are going but how you get there.” The how was far more important than the where in Dumb and Dumber. In fact, the where was completely inconsequential, and the Farrelly brothers and their players made it work.

In 2003, there was a sequel/prequel titled Dumb and Dumberer. I never saw it, and it seems to have had minimal Farrelly involvement. By all accounts, it was nowhere close to the original.

The Dumb and Dumber universe lay unexplored for another decade when all the original talent was reassembled (with the interesting addition of a very non-Body Heat Kathleen Turner) for Dumb and Dumber To, which is the movie regrettably under review here.

It’s nowhere near as good as the first one, which is not a surprise. There’s a lot of the same cracker jack writing and there are certainly some yucks, but the main problem is we no longer care to learn much about Lloyd and Harry. The plot is beyond silly, but in truth so was the plot of the first movie. In the 1994 version, the characters were fresh and interesting. As stupid as their journey was, we went along because we had to know more about this inane yet endearing duo. In 2014, we don’t care to learn anything new about the characters, and any revelations about them are uninteresting to the point of desperation. That is, it feels like the Farrellys put only enough thought into the plot of this movie to buttress fart jokes.

In that sense, Dumb and Dumber To felt much like Ted, another crude and uproarious comedy during which you roll your eyes when the story line actually becomes a story line and you are asked to take it, if only briefly, seriously.

Thus, I won’t bother readers with what happens in Dumb and Dumber To. There’s a road. A car. Some stops along the way. Things exploding. People falling. Malapropisms and puns. Zigs and zags. You will laugh from time to time, but you need not know much else.

Without trying to sound dramatic, Dumb and Dumber To is a betrayal (admittedly, this is a provocative way of defining the movie). Much like the Star Wars sequels/prequels, you are lured into the theater due to the strength of the originals, but when the lights come up you feel hollow and angry your $10 didn’t go toward lottery tickets. In a larger sense, it is a betrayal to the people of Rhode Island and where it all began for the Farrellys. If you are going to make a bad movie, at least produce some benefit to the State where the film is set and where you scored so many previous hits. That would have been the smartest thing about this comedy, if it were true.

2 out of 4 stars
Directed by: Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin, Kathleen Turner

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 109 minutes

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Wicked Halloween kicks off EDM Halloweekend http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/wicked-halloween-kicks-edm-halloweekend/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/wicked-halloween-kicks-edm-halloweekend/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 18:28:48 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93323 Wicked Halloween was held this past Thursday at UMass Lowell’s Tsongas Arena, and it was not just a concert; it was a plethora of artistic abilities and an all-encompassing experience for any EDM enthusiast. From the moment the ticket was scanned, fans knew they were in for the night of a lifetime. Walking down the steps(...)

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Wicked Halloween was held this past Thursday at UMass Lowell’s Tsongas Arena, and it was not just a concert; it was a plethora of artistic abilities and an all-encompassing experience for any EDM enthusiast. From the moment the ticket was scanned, fans knew they were in for the night of a lifetime. Walking down the steps into the arena, fans were greeted with the view of acrobats suspended from the ceiling and a variety of dancers on stage. Three of the most talented acts headlined the stellar show: Audien, Benny Benassi, and Above and Beyond.

Promotional photo from Wicked Halloween. Media credit to James Coletta

Promotional photo from Wicked Halloween. Media credit to James Coletta

As Audien ran up on stage to perform, the crowd cheered and prepared for a mind-blowing set of music. Whenever his songs hit the drop, he would throw his hands in the air and emphatically jump with his audience. Accompanying his performance were female dancers wearing horns and white contacts, embodying the Halloween spirit.

About halfway through his set, two acrobatic dancers walked onto the stage and performed various stunts. Audien made sure to play his increasingly popular remix of Bastille’s “Pompeii” and sampled Armin van Buuren’s “This Is What It Feels Like” in his next song. As he engaged and played off the energy of the crowd, the screen behind him flashed with images and phrases, including his name, the title of the event, a scene from Donkey Kong and other moments from popular video games. The lights flashed throughout the show and when the bass dropped, they would flash intensely through the crowd. He continued to interact with the crowd by waving, jumping, and cheering. By the end of his set, he had the entire arena dancing and waving along to his popular song, “Leaving You”. As he walked off the stage, the crowd chanted his name and prepared for the rest of their amazing evening.

Next up to the stage was the world-famous Benny Benassi. He was incredibly involved with the crowd, clapping to the beat with the audience. A mummy who danced while surrounded by strobe lights accompanied him on stage, along with acrobats in neon suits. There was smoke blown in the air and the visuals on the screen alternated between pulsating colors and his name. Each time the bass dropped, smoke went up from the stage.

The horned dancers replaced the neon dancers and the whole room turned dark for a moment. Benassi clapped along with the crowd and began his popular song, “Cinema”. He would occasionally stop the music and have the crowd sing along. The screams of the crowd along with Benassi’s encouraging arm waving made everyone feel like they were part of something bigger than themselves and the energy increased even more than it had already been. A giant bubble went up into the sky with a dancer in it and swung around on stage. Streamers went off in the crowd as he finished his final song and the crowd chanted his name.

Finally, the main act of the evening hit the stage and the crowd’s energy was intense and excited, somehow peaking from the earlier entertainers. Tony McGuiness and Jono Grant ran up to see the crowd as the screen behind them alternated between a hand, pulsating triangles, and a triangle with the group’s name written on it. They started their show with “Take Me to a Place” while clapping along with the audience. The strobe lights flashed throughout the crowd, only increasing the energy that each costumed attendee felt as they watched something beautiful occur in front of them.

Fan pushing the button with Above and Beyond at the Wicked Halloween show.

Fan pushing the button with Above and Beyond at the Wicked Halloween show. Media credit to Rukes.com

They played a combination of old and new favorites, including “Sticky Fingers” and “Alchemy”. Above and Beyond also brought a mummy onto the stage and put him in an inflatable ball to crowd surf. The screen notified the crowd that the mummy was actually Steve Aoki. However, this was never proven, as he did not take off his mask. As the duo played songs from each of their albums, the name of the album would flash behind them on the screen, notifying the crowd of the upcoming music choices. For Anjunabeats, they flashed the name on the screen while showing a shot of the whole crowd in black and white. Throughout the performance, they had the whole crowd jumping and making a triangle with their hands.

During one of the last songs, purple curtains came down on both sides of the stage. A dancer attached herself to each curtain and as it lifted in the air, began to do various acrobatic stunts. A girl in the front row had a sign for them asking to “push the button”. During “Blue Sky Holiday”, they brought her on stage and allowed her to fulfill her dream of pushing the button and getting the crowd screaming and dancing and she then jumped around the stage and hugged everyone in sight. The next dancer assortment was two human seahorses that were hooked into harnesses and spun around in the air. While all this was going on, there were also harlequin dancers playing with giant bouncy balls on stage. They ended the show while the harlequins and seahorses danced around them. As their final song was close to finishing, the giant balloons were thrown into the crowd and a giant spray cannon to shoot air and confetti into the crowd.

This was a night concert goers won’t soon forget, as fans had the time of their lives and an incredible beginning to their Halloweekend.

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The Blast Interview: Metro Station http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-metro-station/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-metro-station/#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 17:17:41 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93317 After taking a hiatus in 2010, Trace Cyrus and Mason Musso are back together as Metro Station and they just released their first new album in four years, Gold. Fans of the group are extremely excited to see them on The Outsiders Tour with the Ready Set, Against the Current, and Downtown Fiction. Before their(...)

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After taking a hiatus in 2010, Trace Cyrus and Mason Musso are back together as Metro Station and they just released their first new album in four years, Gold. Fans of the group are extremely excited to see them on The Outsiders Tour with the Ready Set, Against the Current, and Downtown Fiction. Before their performance in Boston on Monday, Blast Magazine’s Madeline Knutson had the opportunity to interview the talented duo and find out more about their reunion.

 

Blast Magazine: You just released some new songs on your latest album, Gold. One of those is “She Likes Girls.” What is the meaning behind that track and where did you come up with the idea for the song?

Trace Cyrus: Mason thought of the concept actually. It’s about gay and lesbian rights. It’s about having a girl that you’re interested in who doesn’t like you because she’s more interested in girls. Instead of being upset about it, you should support her through it. Even today, we had a girl write us a card and tell us how much this song meant to her. It’s awesome that it touches people. We didn’t think it would make that big of an impact.

 

 

Blast: You both were really popular on Myspace before you landed your record deal. What is your opinion on social media creating fame and the popularity of Youtubers today?

Cyrus: I like it because it gives everyone an equal opportunity. If you have a laptop, you can release your music. If it’s good, people can spread the word about it. It’s not like the old days where you had to play bars and hope that a record label would stumble upon you. With the power of the Internet, you don’t even need a record label. You can just do it all on your own. We are doing all this without a record label because we still have a good following on social media.

Blast: Trace, you have your clothing line SMHP [Southern Made Hollywood Paid]. Did you always want to be a designer or was that something that came about later in your life?

Cyrus: I have trouble finding clothes that I like and I wanted something that showed a piece of who I was. I actually don’t wear it as much anymore because I like to give it out to friends. I like just making the designs. Even the Metro Station designs, I thought of all the concepts and I got my SMHP designer to make it. I just have fun doing stuff like that. My brain is always working. I like thinking of tattoo designs and shirt designs, just whatever it is. I’m an artistic guy, I guess.

Blast: Have you felt that you needed to change your music or your sound based on who your new audience is? The fans have really grown up with you guys as well, so everyone is older now.

Mason Musso: I’ve never felt that we’ve needed to change our style. We have gotten older and I think it shows in the music. I think we are Metro Station and when you hear our music, you know it’s us. We have that kind of sound that no one else really has. I think we will always keep elements of the beginning but it’s always good to evolve.

Cryus: You can’t stay the same forever. We still write catchy pop songs but we write about different things now.

Metro Station released Gold on October 14 following a four year hiatus.

Metro Station released Gold on October 14 following a four year hiatus. 

Blast: Was it natural for both of you to start working together again? Were there any complications due to taking a few years off from writing as a team?

Cyrus: We are a good writing team and we write good songs together. We really level each other out. When we are in the studio together, we write songs quickly. A lot of times when we go into the studio, we just talk for the first few hours and then finally, we start writing. We just have fun together.

Blast: What do you think inspires you personally and the music that you both write?

Cyrus: Mason is more up-to-date on current bands and bands that are more similar to us. I listen to a lot of hip-hop, country, and 80’s rock and roll. Just living life and the things that we do in our everyday lives, whether that’s performing, partying, drinking, or smoking. For a song, it can be a made-up story. For “She Likes Girls”, that never happened to either of us, but we just write about situations and things that we think of in our head. A song is just a way to tell a story, so we are, in a way, storytellers.

Musso: People we meet and our friends also inspire us.

Blast: You have both written quite a few songs through the course of your careers. What was your favorite song to produce and why?

Musso: That’s really hard to pick a favorite song ever. I really like playing “Cool” off of our new EP. I just think that it’s a super fun and great track. I have been listening to that song a lot.

 

 

Cyrus: There are a couple new songs that we haven’t released yet that I love and are my favorites. Off the new EP, “Gold” is my favorite. It’s not even the most that I listen to the most, but it is the most meaningful to me.

Blast: What would be your best piece of advice to an aspiring musician?

Cyrus: Don’t worry about what anyone says about you. Write songs that you enjoy. Like I said before, the Internet is key. If you want to get your music out there, start a Facebook, start a Youtube channel, start a Twitter, start an Instagram. You can do it all yourself. Save enough money and get a computer that can record quality sounding demos, just like me and Mason did back in the day and still do. For “She Likes Girls”, we did it in one of my bedrooms in my little home studio. We had a laptop and a microphone and made music. Don’t let anyone get you down. Make what you love and if it’s good and other people like it, the word will spread.

 

Be sure to check out Metro Station’s new EP “Gold” and their website www.metrostationmusic.com and follow them on Twitter at @MetroStation,.

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The Blast Interview: Within Temptation http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-within-temptation/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-within-temptation/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:20:09 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93310 Following the release of their new album Hydra earlier this year, the Dutch metal band Within Temptation launched their tour in the U.S. with the supporting act Amaranthe. Blast’s Sinan Pehlivanoglu caught up with the band in their final stop in Worcester and witnessed yet another great show. Be sure to check out the interview(...)

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Following the release of their new album Hydra earlier this year, the Dutch metal band Within Temptation launched their tour in the U.S. with the supporting act Amaranthe. Blast’s Sinan Pehlivanoglu caught up with the band in their final stop in Worcester and witnessed yet another great show. Be sure to check out the interview below.

Within Temptation finished their US tour for their new album Hydra at the Palladium in Worcester.

Within Temptation finished their US tour for their new album Hydra at the Palladium in Worcester.

Within Temptation came out strong, rocking the stage with the song “Paradise (What about us?)” from Hydra, after their short video “Dragon”. Though they played their famous song, “Faster”, the band featured many of their new tracks such as “Let Us Burn” and “Edge of the world”.

But before long, the band returned to their classics, playing crowd-favorite “Stand My Ground”.  At this point, nearly all of the audience was singing along, as loud as they could. This made it difficult to hear the lead singer, Sharon den Adel, at times, but the audience couldn’t help themselves. Next, the band performed a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness” followed by the original track, “Stand my Ground”.  At this point, den Adel invited a 10-year-old girl to the stage to dance along with the band, but the girl was so shocked that she could hardly move once on stage.

The show continued with some tracks including some from the latest album, like “Iron” and “Dangerous”. As Xzibit (yes—the rapper) and Howard Jones of Killswitch Engage were not there to join the songs, their parts were played from tape. The band continued to show with other famous songs including “Angels”, “What Have You Done” and “Mother Earth”. After a short encore they finished off with “Covered with Roses”, “Ice Queen” and “Stairway to the Skies”.

To talk about the stage briefly, the band had fragments of LED screens that played their music videos throughout the songs. There were two hydra heads visible, at the top of the stage, printed on a flag-like material. Front-women den Adel really liked the atmosphere of the Palladiu” and took some time to praise the ambiance and how cool it feel to play in the venue, which almost has the feel of an old opera house.

 

Blast Magazine: How is the tour going? This is the last stop right?

Sharon den Adel: It has been crazy. We have been well received and I am so happy how it all turned out. You can never know when you get to the venue, because some people are like late in getting the tickets and you are like, “oh, there are a lot of tickets left”. But every show on this tour was almost sold out.

Blast: In the album, Hydra, there have been a lot of featured artists and the most unexpected one was probably Xzibit. Who came up with that idea?

den Adel: Robert [Westerholt] mostly came up with the idea of Xzibit. You know our band always changed with every album but we never did rap, we never thought that would be an option. Like me rapping? [laughs] So yeah, from the given perspective, if someone would come in and rap with us, that would actually be a cool thing, we thought. And while we were working on the process we had five songs, that didn’t work out and then this song, I wrote this song. We thought it might work, because we need to rap like blah blah blah blah, actually it is a really cool idea. And one of our favorite songs from the old times is from Aerosmith and Run DMC. It is a really good song, ground breaking. We wanted to break down the walls between two genres. You know nobody ever thought they would merge in this way. We thought if they can do it, we can do it, or at least try. Everybody called us crazy when we said we would try. Like, “why do you want to do that, you are gonna lose all your fans, they will hate you” and we were like, “we don’t care it is interesting, let’s do it” [laughs]. You know, we, as the metal fans, separate each other from [others] who do not understand metal. I must say that our fans responded really well. Of course first time, when they heard the name, everyone was like “ahhhhh.” And then everybody turned around when they heard the song, well not everybody but a lot people really appreciated it. And I must say in America, everybody starts clapping when we start playing this song. We are really happy.

Blast: Do you like the reaction you have received so far?

den Adel: [It’s] very good, especially from media and fans, radio is not really picking it up but also because it is way too heavy for the radio. And we don’t care, it is fine you know. We just go with the flow. Just write what comes out and the best songs make its way to the album. Sometimes more pop-y, sometimes more metal, sometimes a little bit of rap, sometimes a little bit of dance. When it is combined it is always who we are.

Front woman Sharon den Adel formed the band in 1996 with guitarist Robert Westerholt. Media credit to Blabbermouth.net

Front woman Sharon den Adel formed the band in 1996 with guitarist Robert Westerholt. Media credit to Blabbermouth.net

Blast: What is the best memory from the recording process?

den Adel: It is always the same. It is when you write the song and play it out loud. You are like, “yeah, we got one.” That is the best feeling, it addictive also. That is what keeps us going, we always want to make the best.

Blast: Anything you particularly did different in this album? In the sound, the recording process etc.?

den Adel: The sound changed of course, it became more guitar-oriented and I think also [there were] some changes in the tempo. When we were doing Hydra we actually did two albums, we did the cover album and Hydra itself. The thing is we got a little bit inspired, not inspired, I think that is the wrong word for it but we learned a lot from the cover songs we did. The old, upbeat, also some pop songs. But we transposed them to be more metal or rock like and doing that we learned a lot about how things work with tempos. Because in the past we had a lot of trouble writing up-tempo songs. I am really happy it worked out this way, because we never thought we would have those heavy, up tempo songs and this is the first album that it worked out this way.

Blast: You are from Europe, so symphonic metal is understandable, but who were your influences that pushed you to this more melodic genre? 

den Adel: You know the strange thing is, we all liked different kind of things. If I look at myself, I am really from the background where I love Nirvana and Tori Amos. What inspired me is that the rock-kind of emotion and very confronting emotions, that was the thing that triggered me. Of course how [Amos] played the piano and it was just brutal. Emotion is the biggest key to this. If you have that, people will feel connected to you. Otherwise you cannot take it to the next level. I grew up with bands around me, because my parents had music [on] all night. Deep Purple, Santana, but also pop music, like Queen for instance. So I had a range of music around me daily, always. Music was my life. But you know Jeroen [van Veen] likes Rush, he grew up with Rush. Ruud [Jolie] loves Iron Maiden. Stephan [Helleblad] is [into] Iron maiden but also other bands. Everybody had their musical background and if you merge everything into one, something comes out.

Blast: How would you compare Holland to US?

den Adel: Everything is bigger here. [Laughs] I mean there are differences, not necessarily always better, but I appreciate America for what it is. I think what is good about [the] U.S. is that you can have a really nice conversation with a complete stranger and it can happen really fast. I mean in our hometown of course they will give you directions if you need them, but going from A to Z. I mean you can learn someone’s life story here in [the] metro.

Blast: Are you thinking of starting a fan club, or doing VIP stuff for the shows?

den Adel designs many of the costumes for the band's music videos and concerts. Media credit to metal-ways.com

den Adel designs many of the costumes for the band’s music videos and concerts. Media credit to metal-ways.com

den Adel: We do have a fan club but…VIP, it more happens with contests from labels, organization companies, promoters of the tour of course. But I must say that I find it difficult to give VIP tickets. See people can buy regular ticket or they can pay a massive amount of money to have a VIP ticket. It is really popular; a lot of bands do that. But I feel bad doing that ‘cause everybody is equal, just get everybody in.

 Blast: Are still keeping up the design stuff?

den Adel: Yeah, I am working with a designer. He does a lot of fun stuff. He is the best in men’s clothing, and then we do rock and roll stuff. He is influenced by the Ramones’ rock and roll kind of attitude. Beautiful. But when it comes to dresses…. I like it to be feminine. His is taste is quite male dominated. I need to have corset and then a shape, not like straight [laughs]. So yeah, we work it out together, he comes to my house, I go to his. Although we live like three hours of drive from each other, quite a long drive. But its fun, he is a young guy with an old spirit and we can just talk about all kind of things. Movies, music and everything.

Blast: As a woman in metal, do you think women in metal should show their feminine side or have a strong masculine image to fit in the genre?

 den Adel: I think that many of the female fronted bands are trying to be male-like. I don’t like it that much. I think it is good to see, I can make a difference as a woman and as a female, I don’t think you should try to be something you are not. Though it is cool to be the tough lady in metal, but I think the contrast between the cool guy and the girl would work out fine.

Blast: So what is next? Are you gonna rest?

den Adel: No we have four days off, and I am gonna do nothing, because most probably I will be jetlagged and then we go to Japan to get even worse jetlag [laughs].

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The Big Gallery: Single Mothers Play Great Scott in Boston http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/big-gallery-single-mothers-play-great-scott-boston/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/big-gallery-single-mothers-play-great-scott-boston/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:07:46 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93302 September 23 found Canadian punks Single Mothers headlining a show at Great Scott in Allston in support of their recently released album Negative Qualities. The band was set to support The Flatliners, but they encountered troubles crossing the border earlier in the day, so Single Mothers ended up headlining the show. Despite that being sprung upon(...)

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September 23 found Canadian punks Single Mothers headlining a show at Great Scott in Allston in support of their recently released album Negative Qualities. The band was set to support The Flatliners, but they encountered troubles crossing the border earlier in the day, so Single Mothers ended up headlining the show. Despite that being sprung upon them, they played as if it were planned all along. The small stage at the back of the bar venue was barely enough to hold the band’s energy that they brought along with them as they played songs from their Self-Titled EP and and Negative Qualities.
Haven’t heard ‘em? Listen to: “Winter Coats”
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Finally a Song Not About a Boy!: a review of 1989 http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/finally-song-boy-review-1989/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/finally-song-boy-review-1989/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:00:48 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93296 Were you looking for a T-Swift album without songs about her love life? Well, sorry to disappoint, but maybe synthesizers will help. Swift’s transition to pop was not exactly abrupt. With pop songs like “We Are Never Getting Back Together” coming from her last album, it seemed as if the country star had progressively been moving(...)

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Were you looking for a T-Swift album without songs about her love life? Well, sorry to disappoint, but maybe synthesizers will help.

Swift’s transition to pop was not exactly abrupt. With pop songs like “We Are Never Getting Back Together” coming from her last album, it seemed as if the country star had progressively been moving away from her beginnings. However, Swift has certainly never released something as synthesized and straight-up pop like her latest release. With the help of mega-pop producer Max Martin, Taylor Swift’s 1989 is supposedly the former country singer’s departure from her roots and a foray into the world of pop, but she may have traveled back more than few years to find the inspiration for her new sound. The heavily synthesized music in tracks “Welcome to New York” and “Out of the Woods” are reminiscent of 1980s bands such as Depeche Mode and A-ha. In fact, a guitar, usually a Swift staple, does not make an appearance until “How You Get The Girl,” the tenth track on the album. That said, it’s really not a bad thing.

Swift has been in a number of ads for the New York board of tourism, much to New Yorkers chagrin. Media credit to NYCGO.com

Swift has been in a number of ads for the New York board of tourism, much to New Yorkers chagrin. Media credit to NYCGO.com

Swift wanted to make a pop album and that she accomplished. Her first single “Shake It Off” is clearly the album’s hit, but is very different from the majority of the other tracks. Where “Shake It Off” makes you want to dance, tracks like “Style” and “Bad Blood” offer more relaxed, steady beats (almost straight out of the Drive soundtrack) and less resounding, but still catchy, choruses. Most of the songs, ten out of thirteen, are still about her love life— we’re looking at you, Mr. Styles. However, the lyrics are more mature compared to her other albums. Where “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In” off Swift’s last album Red were somewhat jeering and vengeful, Swift seems more introspective and ready to move on with this record. Tracks like “All You Had To Do Was Stay” look at her past relationship without malice and a hell of a catchy chorus— definitely a standout on the album. “Wildest Dreams” also offers a more mature Swift only wanting to be remembered by her lost love. This song is extremely reminiscent of Lana Del Rey, almost eerily so, but another standout on the album. Songs like “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space” offer a more unapologetic Swift defending her decisions in the her love life without caring whatever the media has to say.

Musically speaking, some songs on the album, “Welcome to New York” and “Out of the Woods,” feel one note with more-spoken-than-sang choruses that feel anti-climatic as compared to the verses that bookend them. Others like “Blank Space” boast a resounding beat without a solid catchy chorus to make the song memorable. All in all, the album is an interesting turn for Swift that contains several catchy songs, but no real hits other than “Shake It Off.”

1989, Swift's most recent album, was released Oct. 27 and is expected to reach 1 mill. sold copies in its debut week.

1989, Swift’s most recent album, was released Oct. 27 and is expected to reach 1 mill. sold copies in its debut week.

Although the album is a fairly big departure from Taylor Swift’s last albums, it works. Swift always seemed more like a pop star than a country star, but her melodic and songwriting sensibilities still ring strong on this record, minus her comfortable acoustic guitar. Swift blended the new, but old 1980s synth-pop sound well with modern influences like Lorde and Lana Del Rey and released a unique pop record leaving listeners interested in hearing more from Taylor Swift’s new musical direction.

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Big Gigantic Rocks UMass http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/big-gigantic-rocks-umass/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/big-gigantic-rocks-umass/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:59:38 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93291 With music software readily available, new DJs are constantly emerging with hopes of becoming the next big producer. The problem that so many of these producers have is setting themselves apart from the crowd. With their distinct sound and live instruments, Jeremy Salken and Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic are forging a unique path of(...)

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With music software readily available, new DJs are constantly emerging with hopes of becoming the next big producer. The problem that so many of these producers have is setting themselves apart from the crowd. With their distinct sound and live instruments, Jeremy Salken and Dominic Lalli of Big Gigantic are forging a unique path of EDM. The duo combines Salken’s drumming skills with Lalli’s saxophone prowess, along with smooth electronic beats to produce catchy, upbeat tracks.

Big Gigantic is currently on their Touch the Sky tour, making appearances with Skrillex, Bassnectar, Paper Diamond, Manic Focus and The Floozies.

Jeremy Salken, left, and Dominic Lalli, right, performing at a festival. Media Credit to BigGigantic.net

Jeremy Salken, left, and Dominic Lalli, right, performing at a festival. Media Credit to BigGigantic.net

On Oct. 23, they travelled to UMass Amherst to open for Skrillex at the Mullins Center, along with Nadastrom and Vindata. Sonny Moore, the 26-year-old from California better known as Skrillex, has become one of the most well known producers with his hard-hitting electro tracks. Recently, his style has evolved, including elements of jazz and soul on his newest album, Recess. Skrillex is currently on a 27-stop tour that will last until November.

Scott Fortunato, a chef from Boston, attended the UMass show, seeing Big Gigantic for his thirtieth time.

“This was my favorite show ever because I brought my 66-year-old mother with me to the show and my older sister,” Fortunato said. “[The] most memorable part was Dominic pointing and smiling at my mother.”

Despite being an avid Big G fan, Fortunato also said that he enjoyed Skrillex’s set. Another one of his favorite moments of the night was when Skrillex dropped the Lion King theme song remix.

“I hadn’t seen Skrillex in two years since Counterpoint 2012,” he said. “He was awesome in my mind, I loved his set.”

Media credit to MSO PR.

Media credit to MSO PR.

Prior to the show, Salken praised the energy of New England concertgoers.

“We love to kind of rage with our Massholes, absolutely,” Salken said, laughing. “The Northeast kind of goes hard- everybody kind of goes hard- but the Northeast does a different vibe, and it’s just maybe a little extra rowdier because they’re pent up in the city and stuff like that, so everybody goes a little bit crazier.”

Big Gigantic has come a long way since forming just a few years ago in 2008. They recently headlined their third show at the incredible Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado before hitting up Madison Square Garden in New York with Bassnectar.

“I feel like our music style has definitely changed, like Dom’s producing skills as he has learned more tricks of the trade,” Salken said. “The sound quality has gone up a lot, and the songs sound fuller, they hit harder. Everything is kind of more defined, and stylistically it’s definitely evolved, you know, as all electronic music has.”

Big G has a few more stops on the tour before returning to Colorado, this time to throw down on New Year’s Eve. It’s clear that the duo is not slowing down any time soon.

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The Blast Interview: Amaranthe http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-amaranth/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-amaranth/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:37:48 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93284      The Swedish metal band Amaranthe has just released their new album Massive Addictive. For the past month they have been hitting the roads in the US along with the Dutch band Within Temptation, dropping some new tunes from their latest release. Both bands absolutely killed their performance in Worcester on Oct. 11 at the(...)

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     The Swedish metal band Amaranthe has just released their new album Massive Addictive. For the past month they have been hitting the roads in the US along with the Dutch band Within Temptation, dropping some new tunes from their latest release. Both bands absolutely killed their performance in Worcester on Oct. 11 at the Palladium.

Amaranth released their newest album,  Massive Addiction, on Oct. 24. Media credit to spotlightreport.net

Amaranthe released their newest album, Massive Addiction, on Oct. 24. Media credit to spotlightreport.net

Amaranthe started their set with the track “Digital World” from Massive Addictive. The crowd erupted into cheers as the band made it to the stage. The show continued with some other tunes including “Hunger”, “Invincible” and one of the band’s most well known songs “1,000,000 Light years”. Amaranthe also played “Trinity” from their latest album before their self-titled track, and then finished the show off with their legendary song “Nexus”. The band had a great collaboration between their three vocalists.

Although the stage show was nothing out of the ordinary, it was still pretty good and enough. Elize Ryd’s interaction with the crowd brought a lot of energy to the venue. Probably one of the highlights of the show was guitarist Stefan Helleblad of Within Temptation coming on stage and playing along with Amaranth. Check out the Blast interview with Johan Andreassen and Morten Løwe Sørensen of Amaranthe below. 

  

Blast Magazine: So how was the tour? This is the last stop right?

Morten Løwe Sørensen: So for this part of the tour, this is the last stop. Then we go to Japan. It has totally been a [good] tour with Within Temptation. Every single show has been awesome, really.

Blast: Massive Addictive is coming up. Are you excited about it?

Johan Andreassen: We are curious how people will react to it. It has a big difference but it is still Amaranthe.

Blast: What can you say about the album? Is it going to be the Amaranthe sound fans are used to?

Sørensen: Not major changes but the overall sound, it lets the instruments and voices to be heard better. We still have some fast songs in the album but not in the way people are used to, I think. Every track has its own sound I think, in a different way.

Blast: What is your favorite memory from the recording process?

Andreassen: Coming home [laughs]. I think it is the whole course of recording, being in the studio, the guys, to hang[ing] out with Jacob Hansen.

Sørensen: For me its actually recording, I love to record. To listen to the result, being creative and stuff.

Blast: The Amaranthe sound is kind of out of the box, kind of different than what metal fans are used to. Is this caused by the different backgrounds of the members or is there more to it?

Andreassen: I think we just wanted to put as much of everything in there. I don’t think our differences have too much to do about it.

Sørensen: I think that certain songs [have] more of one of the vocalists. Before it was mostly equally divided. Certain songs, for example, have more of Elize and not much Jake or other way around. Even a lot of Henrik, the growler, the screamer.

 Blast: Who were your influences in this case?

Sørensen: Michael Jackson.

Andreassen: ABBA. I think we tried to put as much of different types of music. There is a wide range between ABBA, Jackson, Soilwork but…I think SoilWork is the big thing for all of us.

Blast: Your producer, Jacob, you have been with him for a long time. It’s not really usual for bands to stick with the same producer for a long time. What is it about him that makes the relationship work?

Andreassen: Before we got him, we just sat down and talked [about] who to work with and we all agreed on Jacob. We understand each other very well. I mean, he understands our music and what we are trying to do.

Sørensen: He is very involved with the whole process. And he has been with us since the first album, which [gave] him a good overview of the sound of the band. He is also changing along the path as we are. He understands where we are going. I wouldn’t be the same without him.

Johan Andreassen of Amaranthe performing the Prog Power USA X Festival. Media credit to Patrick Matthies.

Johan Andreassen of Amaranthe performing the Prog Power USA X Festival. Media credit to Patrick Matthies.

Blast: How does the song writing process go with you guys? Because the band is kind of crowded. It is easy to spear Henrik’s part as screams but how do you divide them between Elize and Jake?

Sørensen: No. Jake writes the lyrics like one day before recording [laughs]. No, no. He is the guy involved with the lyrics process but it differs in album.

Blast: What is the goal of the band at the moment?

Andreassen: World domination [laughs].

Sørensen: Yeah one step at a time [laughs]. Of course, we are hoping to have a headlining tour. We are gonna come back to US.

Blast: How would you compare the US to Europe?

Andreassen: This is a hard one. They both have their perks. Upsides and downsides. I mean it is really different. I think American audience is, they have been more open I guess. Open minded and more willing to take in more.

Sørensen: It was kind of a trial for us. You know, first time we did like 10 shows, not much. And it went pretty well. Now we had something to build on.

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Kina Grannis comes to Boston; Break Science to NYC http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/kina-grannis-comes-boston-break-science-nyc/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/kina-grannis-comes-boston-break-science-nyc/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:33:07 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93272 This week, Boston will be graced by singer-songwriter Kina Grannis, while Break Science will headline Bang On!’s Warehouse of Horrors in NYC. Grannis will be playing tonight at the Paradise Rock Club, one of her last North American tour dates before departing for Europe. Tickets are still available and can be purchased through her site or(...)

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This week, Boston will be graced by singer-songwriter Kina Grannis, while Break Science will headline Bang On!’s Warehouse of Horrors in NYC.

Grannis will be playing tonight at the Paradise Rock Club, one of her last North American tour dates before departing for Europe. Tickets are still available and can be purchased through her site or via Paradise. Although the LA singer will most likely showcase her sophomore album Elements, fans will surely call for tracks off of her earlier albums such as One More in the Attic (2006) or Stairwells (2011). If you’re new to Grannis, be sure to check out her extensive list of covers, such as The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” or Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence”. This all ages show will begin at 7 p.m..

If Grannis’ acoustic pop sound is too slow for your tastes, make a weekend trip down to New York to catch the electronic duo Break Science. The guys will be performing Friday night with Twin Shadow, Space Jesus and Zebra Katz, to name a few. You may recall our interview with Space Jesus–if not for Break Science, then grab tickets just for what will be a fantastic performance from Jasha Tull. Not only will there be three stages, Bang On! has a haunted house, Burning Man style art installations, 3D visuals and more planned for the night. Be sure to get your tickets, as Bang On!’s notorious parties sell out quickly. More info and tickets can be found at Bang On!’s NYC website–but be aware that the address won’t be released until the night of.

 

Media credit to Fansofkina.com

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Photos: Gerard Way plays Boston http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/photos-gerard-way-plays-boston/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/photos-gerard-way-plays-boston/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:49:00 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93271 Commonwealth Avenue and The Paradise Rock Club played host to Gerard Way and his band this past Sunday evening. In what was his first show in Boston since playing with former band My Chemical Romance, Way quickly sold the show out, along with a number of other dates on a short tour in support of(...)

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Commonwealth Avenue and The Paradise Rock Club played host to Gerard Way and his band this past Sunday evening. In what was his first show in Boston since playing with former band My Chemical Romance, Way quickly sold the show out, along with a number of other dates on a short tour in support of his recently released debut solo effort, Hesitant Alien. With a setlist that included a large majority of the album in addition to a few covers (“Snakedriver” by The Jesus and Mary Chain was his final song prior to an encore), Way rocked the crowd with his new Britpop-driven sound. With his initial US tour over, he will be touring outside of the country for the next few months, continuing to support the new record.

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The Blast Interview: Big Gigantic http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-big-gigantic/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-big-gigantic/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:54:11 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93260 Big Gigantic, the Colorado-based electronic duo, is coming to UMass Amherst tonight as part of its Touch the Sky tour. The livetronica group is teaming up with EDM powerhouses like Skrillex, Paper Diamond and Manic Focus throughout the tour. Blast’s Bailey Knecht got a chance to chat with Big Gigantic’s drummer Jeremy Salken before the show. Be sure(...)

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Big Gigantic, the Colorado-based electronic duo, is coming to UMass Amherst tonight as part of its Touch the Sky tour. The livetronica group is teaming up with EDM powerhouses like Skrillex, Paper Diamond and Manic Focus throughout the tour. Blast’s Bailey Knecht got a chance to chat with Big Gigantic’s drummer Jeremy Salken before the show. Be sure to catch them in Amherst with Skrillex, as the duo are headed to Pennsylvania, Michigan and then the southern states for the next few weeks.

 

Blast: What can we expect from you guys on this tour, and at the UMass show in particular?

Jeremy Salken: UMass obviously is gonna be little bit different because we’re with Sonny from Skrillex, so it’s gonna be like his production, and hopefully we can get him on stage with us. That show’s definitely gonna be a rager. We’ve actually been trying to do a show at the Mullins Center for a little bit cause we did Pearl Street and then we did Northampton. We’ve been trying to do an Amherst show for a while.

Blast: What’s it like collaborating with Skrillex?

Salken: It’s great, I mean we collabed with him at Bonnaroo and it was super epic getting to play, getting to work with him super close and then adding all these other musicians on top of it. It was pretty awesome.

Blast: Do your West Coast shows differ at all from the East Coast ones in terms of the atmosphere or the audience?

Salken: We love to kind of rage with our Massholes, absolutely (laughs). The Northeast kind of goes hard- everybody kind of goes hard- but the Northeast does a different vibe, and it’s just maybe a little extra rowdier because they’re pent up in the city and stuff like that, so everybody goes a little bit crazier. But yeah, we love coming out to Boston, Northampton and Amherst, and kind of hitting that whole area.

Dominic Lalli, left, and Jeremy Salken, right, of Big Gigantic

Dominic Lalli, left, and Jeremy Salken, right, of Big Gigantic. Media credit to MSO PR

 

Blast: There are a ton of fan groups on Facebook for you guys. Talk a little bit about your fans, and the Big Gigantic Family and the Lil G’s in particular.

Salken: We have the Big Gigantic Family Facebook group that one of our fans started, so it’s kind of all driven by the fans, and we’re just super psyched that people are that kind of involved with what we’re doing and it kind of pushes us further. So, yeah, we have the ABGF fan base, and then we have our Lil G program, which is kind of our volunteer program that we do at our bigger shows where we kind of have kids come out and just generally make sure everybody’s having a good time at the show, make sure people are hydrated, make sure that, you know, if somebody’s not doing well, they have a place they can go, or they have some help. So they don’t feel intimidated to go to the first-aid booth, or if police are gonna do whatever, they can kind of go to our guys first and get taken care of.

Blast: How has your music style evolved in general?

Salken: I feel like our music style has definitely changed, like Dom’s producing skills as he has learned more tricks of the trade. The sound quality has gone up a lot and the songs sound fuller, they hit harder. Everything is kind of more defined, and stylistically it’s definitely evolved, you know, as all electronic music has. And it kind of keeps evolving just because the way that we are as artists and people. So you make something for a little bit, and it’s cool, and then you want to figure out a way to challenge yourself and make something new that you’ve never done before. Or you hear a style that you’re influenced by and you try and take that style and put your spin on it. It’s something that we’ve done before Big Gigantic, that’s what we used to do in jazz group and funk group and whatever we were doing trying to take those styles and take it to the next level.

Blast: How hard is it to get that perfect balance of showing off your new stuff while still playing some of your classic older songs?

Salken: It’s tough because we definitely wanna, you know, play the stuff that’s kind of new and fresh for us, but we have the fan favorites and classics that we don’t want to ignore. We love playing all of it, so we try keep it as diverse as we can with that stuff. Just recently Dom found all the masters, the audio files for a lot of older stuff. It’s actually given him a chance to kind of rework it and make it sound better and make it sound fuller so that when we play that track, the old track next to a new track, the sound quality is the same, they hit as hard, all that stuff.

The duo performs with Skrillex tonight at UMass Amherst

The duo performs with Skrillex tonight at UMass Amherst. Media credit to MSO PR

 

Blast: You guys have been going pretty nonstop for the past few months, and it doesn’t look like you’ll be slowing down any time soon. How do you keep grinding and keep up the energy every single night?

Salken: We’re just constantly, constantly working. We actually maybe have some time off in November and December. Right now, we try and stay busy and stay focused, keep our eye on the prize.

Blast: Talk about your philosophy behind giving away your music for free.

Salken: That’s kind of a concept that’s evolved over the last few years and, originally, it was a way just to get our music out there, you know. We wanted to put it online as quick as possible when we were starting, just have a way for people to get our music and hear us and hopefully come see us live. So that was the original concept, and as things kind of progressed with the way that music is delivered to people, we accommodated that, and we started messing around with Pandora and Spotify and iTunes. Now we just want to make sure our music is everywhere that you can possibly get music. So if you go to iTunes for music, then you can find us there. If you only use Spotify, you can find us on Spotify. All of it is kind of there, accessible when you need it and hopefully everybody comes and sees us live.

Blast: Favorite track off The Night is Young?

Salken: My favorite track is probably Shooting Stars. That one is really fun to play, it’s kind of a different vibe than we’re used to, you know. We’ve been playing it live, and it’s kind of a moment to chill out and look around and enjoy where you are. So I like that one a lot.

Blast: Favorite song to play live?

Salken: Favorite song to play live…I like Blue Dream a lot. That one’s really fun, it always goes well.

 

 

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How to Pick a Payment Terminal for Your Business http://blastmagazine.com/the-news/business/pick-payment-terminal-business/ http://blastmagazine.com/the-news/business/pick-payment-terminal-business/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:21:55 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93256 Over the last few years, customers have stopped making cash payments because of security reasons. Credit card payments have become popular, because they are simple, easy and safe. There were more than 388.7 million credit card holders in the US and almost 90 percent of their credit card transactions were in retail stores, according to(...)

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Over the last few years, customers have stopped making cash payments because of security reasons. Credit card payments have become popular, because they are simple, easy and safe. There were more than 388.7 million credit card holders in the US and almost 90 percent of their credit card transactions were in retail stores, according to Statista. As a result, almost every business needs a credit card terminal to process card payments. If you do not have a credit card terminal, you will lose the customers who offer credit cards and lose their money as well, says Entrepreneur.

What Are The Key Features of Credit Card Terminals?

All of us have seen these squat rectangular boxes on store billing counters. The counter staff will swipe your card; the machine clears the payment, and then prints receipts for you to sign. That little grey box has now transformed itself into several new avatars that are much more popular and easy to use. POS systems now automatically offer credit card terminals that link to the POS system and clear payments in less than two seconds.

These terminals have more processing power and they can handle several different kinds of payment transactions. For example, POS vendors offer terminals that can also process e-vouchers, bill payments, gift cards, loyalty coupons, product discount vouchers and coupons. Older versions usually ran on dial-up connections but these models are not used nowadays. Modern POS payment terminals now contain more than 100 megabytes of memory. This is vastly different from the original 32K RAM models of yesteryear.

Modern payment terminals also connect through fixed broadband connection, wireless connections and/or GSM/GPRS connections. Newer versions also have touchscreen graphics to process payment faster. All credit card terminals have built in printers with a thermal paper roll. When payments clear, the thermal printer makes two receipts: one for the customer and one for the business. For additional security, some debit cards require a pin number to authorize payments.

These devices are referred to as PED devices. By inputting a specific pin number, the customer can authorize that specific payment. For businesses that are on the move, miniaturized credit card terminals are now available. These tiny plug-like devices are ideal to collect payments while on the move. They are attached to tablets and smartphones to be plugged in to the store POS system to process sales.

Choosing the Right Credit Card Terminal for Your Business

Types – Now that you know the basic types of credit card terminals available for your business, it is time to choose a model for your business. Most business owners prefer the traditional credit card terminal, as they are basic, economical, and very simple to use. The only problem with this type of card machine is that it is not portable. They require a phone line and an electricity line to charge the terminal. These types of terminals are perfect for businesses fixed in place like restaurants and retail stores. Wireless systems are much more popular nowadays. Almost every vendor offers these terminals nowadays and they are quite affordable. They do not require a phone line or an internet connection and they process payments very quickly. However, these systems too are not without their problems. Dead zones and poor Wi-Fi connections may slow down these systems and result in dropped transactions. This type of credit card system is perfect for deliverymen, small business owners working from home, or for processing payments at kiosks and stores.

Costs – Terminal costs usually vary from vendor to vendor. Along with an upfront payment, you may also have to pay a per-transaction fee, rental fees, bank charges, etc. You can also comparison shop online with several retailers to find an affordable credit card terminal. Make sure you read the service contract before you take the credit card system.

Reviews – Take the time to compare features of these terminals by reading online reviews. Customer reviews and technical reviews are available online and they provide an accurate idea of just how good the credit card reader is, states Essential Retail. The website also cautions readers to make their own decision regarding credit card readers.

The fastest way to get your own credit card terminal is by getting in touch with POS vendors like Shopify. These vendors sell state-of-the-art point of sale software and compatible, miniaturized credit card terminals. The systems are affordable and cheap and allow you to process sales anywhere inside your store or while on the move. Of course, you can also invest in ordinary size credit card terminals but these are not portable and require an electricity connection along with an internet connection. It’s a far better idea to invest in a portable POS system that comes with its own credit card terminal.

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Gallery: SKATERS at the Brighton Music Hall http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/gallery-skaters-brighton-music-hall/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/gallery-skaters-brighton-music-hall/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:38:20 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93245 Last Thursday evening, New York City’s SKATERS arrived in Boston in order to play a show opening for The Orwells at Brighton Music Hall. Despite only having been a band for a bit over two years, they have put together an impressive résumé thus far. In 2012 they put out their debut Schemers EP, signed(...)

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Last Thursday evening, New York City’s SKATERS arrived in Boston in order to play a show opening for The Orwells at Brighton Music Hall. Despite only having been a band for a bit over two years, they have put together an impressive résumé thus far. In 2012 they put out their debut Schemers EP, signed to Warner Brothers Records, and earlier this year, released their debut full length, Manhattan. The band identifies as a NYC act, but they’re actually from all over. Vocalist Michael Ian Cummings hails from from Boston and met guitarist Josh Hubbard (from England) in Los Angeles during 2011. The two ended up collaborating in New York not too long after, and SKATERS was formed along with drummer Noah Rubin and bassist Dan Burke. From then on, SKATERS has been bringing their garage-rock-inspired sound to clubs all over. With an impressive live show reminiscent of The Clash and solid skills on their instruments to back it up, the group of guys has a lot ahead of themselves. They just wrapped up their touring schedule, but look out for them the next time they hit the road.

Haven’t heard ‘em? Listen to: “Miss Teen Massachusetts”

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So close, yet so far: Alien Isolation review http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/close-yet-far-alien-isolation-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/close-yet-far-alien-isolation-review/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:26:23 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93224   If last year’s Alien’s Colonial Marines succeeded in anything, it was in making one of Hollywood’s most menacing monsters into little more than a joke.  The best that once gave kids the world over nightmares was reduced to little more than cannon fodder; oh, and it danced. It seemed like it would be the(...)

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If last year’s Alien’s Colonial Marines succeeded in anything, it was in making one of Hollywood’s most menacing monsters into little more than a joke.  The best that once gave kids the world over nightmares was reduced to little more than cannon fodder; oh, and it danced. It seemed like it would be the last nail in the coffin of what was one a horror movie icon. Fast forward to just over a year later and Alien: Isolation doesn’t have this problem; in fact it succeeds wildly at recreating the terrifying world established by Ridley Scott’s iconic 1979 film.  Isolation comes so close to becoming the Alien game that fans have clamored for, for decades but a lackluster mission structure and disappointing story hold the game down.  While Isolation is more than enough to make you forget the failures of past games, it’s transgressions hurt just as much because of how close it comes to being great.

Developed by: Creative Assembly
Published by:
Sega
Genre:
Action, survival horror
Platform:
PS4, PS3, PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360
What works:
Tense gameplay| Alien is terrifying| Great environments
What doesn’t work:
Missions structure is disappointing| Game is needlessly long, should have ended hours earlier
2.5 out of 5 stars

Set after the events of the first movie, Isolation puts you in the role of Amanda Ripley, who is looking for information on the whereabouts of her mother Ellen (played by Sigourney Weaver in the films) and the rest of the Nostromo crew. Her search takes her to the Sevastapol, a giant space station where the Nostromo’s flight recorder is being stored. It’s apparent right from docking at the Sevastapol that something isn’t right, and Ripley is tasked with surviving against hostile humans, malfunctioning androids and something worse – something much worse.

From the moment the game starts, it’s clear that Sega and Creative Assembly wanted to make a game that was faithful to the Alien franchise, and they’ve succeeded wildly here. There’s a remarkable level of detail here, from the DOS computer systems to the throwbacks to the world of the movies. Most impressive though is just how much all of that detail helps create an incredibly deep world. Everything from the condition of The Sevastapol to the audio diaries lying around helps create a fantastic back-story and reaches an almost BioShock level of detail. It’s obvious that someone at Sega did their homework this time around, and it shows, I tried to spend as much time as I could exploring every nook and cranny of the station.

Of course, that’s easier said than done due to what’s stalking you I the corridors of the space station. I was honestly surprised by how long it took for the game to bring the Xenomorph into play (unlike previous games, there’s only one in Isolation) but when it does, the game truly hits its stride. The Alien, referred to here, as simply The Beast is the clear star of the game. Featuring mostly unscripted AI, trying to evade the Alien is a truly tense and often terrifying experience. You can never really tell if the Alien is going to sprint down a corridor at you, sniff around a room or disappear into a crawlspace for minutes at a time.  Even then, there are moments where you think you’re safe, but the Alien changes course and comes at you out of nowhere.  There are moments where the Alien seems a bit too smart and manages to attack you even when you’re well hidden, which is cheap but forces you to think and strategize even more.

Most impressive is how all of these elements, the dynamic AI, the true to the franchise world and eerie production values combine to create a remarkably paced experience. The game puts its lighting system to great work and before long you’ll start questioning every shadow that you see. The audio is even more impressive, with a dynamically impressive score and incredible sound effects (it’s downright terrifying to hear the Alien scurrying around above you or clomping down the hallway), this is a game that understands what made the original movie so terrifying to begin with. It’s a game that deserves to be played alone, in the dark with surround sound headphones on.

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It’s a shame then that with how much Sega and Creative Assembly nailed the atmosphere of the Alien franchise, they botched pretty much the rest of the game. Isolation’s mission structure is by far the biggest letdown of the game, forcing you to do trivial fetch missions and far more backtracking than you should in a game like this. Most missions find you trying to sneak your way around the station, trying to get into one room or another or find some resource that you need. The problem with this is that you almost always feel like you’re doing the same thing, like how many times am I going to have to find a way to restore power to the ship?  How many times am I going to have to sneak into that same room?

There are also entire sections of the game where seemingly nothing of importance happens. The Alien franchise strived on how scary things were when nothing was happening, when you couldn’t see your enemy – and Isolation is no different, but there are stretches towards the middle of the game where the Alien is completely absent and you’re left to deal with the malfunctioning Working Joe androids, and the game becomes less of a strategic survival horror game and more of a brainless first-person-shooter.  Why you would almost completely take out the best thing about your game midway through the experience is beyond me, and Isolation struggles because of it.

Isolation is also a good three to four hours too long for it’s own good. While it may seem strange to complain about a game being too long in this day and age, Isolation seems to be heading towards a satisfying finale several times before the credits finally roll. The story is all about Amanda Ripley finding closure on the whereabouts of her mother, but Sega and Creative Assembly seem determined to not give it to her. It’s like the old adage says, leave them wanting more; not give them countless hours of pointless wandering around a space station.

Like most guys my age, Alien was more than just another movie; it was almost a right of passage. It was the first real horror movie I saw, and defined what terror could be growing up.  After so many disappointments and let downs, it’s great to see a game that understands what made the franchise so great and absolutely nails that tone and feeling in a video game. It’s equally disappointing though that the rest of the game is so incredibly disappointing and feels so rushed.  All that aside, Alien Isolation is more than worth a look to anyone who loves survival horror, or grew up living in fear of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece.

 

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WWE 2K15 gets a season pass, you get Paige http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/wwe-2k15-gets-season-pass-get-paige/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/wwe-2k15-gets-season-pass-get-paige/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:30:25 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93210 In news that you already knew, WWE 2K15 is getting a season pass, but hey — at least you’ll get exclusive access to WWE Diva Paige when the game launches next month. Though exact content, pricing and release dates haven’t been announced yet, 2K did confirm that the DLC will focus on the 2K showcase(...)

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In news that you already knew, WWE 2K15 is getting a season pass, but hey — at least you’ll get exclusive access to WWE Diva Paige when the game launches next month.

Though exact content, pricing and release dates haven’t been announced yet, 2K did confirm that the DLC will focus on the 2K showcase mode, the game’s single-player story mode.

WWE 2K15 releases on October 28 for Xbox 360 and PS3 but was recently delayed until November 18 for PS4 and Xbox One.

Also, CM Punk.

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Evolve’s Big Alpha begins Halloween weekend, here’s how you can get in http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/evolves-big-alpha-begins-halloween-weekend-heres-can-get/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/evolves-big-alpha-begins-halloween-weekend-heres-can-get/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:35:27 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93205 Evolve’s “Big Alpha”, will run from October 30- November 2, Turtle Rock Studios announced today. Xbox One owners will get to try their luck at slaying the Goliath before anyone else, as access on their console is exclusive for 24 hours, with other platforms opening up on the 31. Xbox One users will also have(...)

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Evolve’s “Big Alpha”, will run from October 30- November 2, Turtle Rock Studios announced today. Xbox One owners will get to try their luck at slaying the Goliath before anyone else, as access on their console is exclusive for 24 hours, with other platforms opening up on the 31. Xbox One users will also have access to an exclusive beta in January of next year.

“The incredible reactions from early Evolve players have exceeded our highest expectations, but we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us in the coming months,” said Chris Ashton, co-founder and design director at Turtle Rock Studios. “We need to stress test the servers and the matchmaking system, look at balance, unlock rates, etc. The alpha test is not fully representative of the final product, but it’s our chance to see what the game looks like in the real world, and we will test again in the open beta for Evolve exclusively for Xbox One in January 2015. The data gathered in the tests will help make Evolve the best that it can possibly be when it launches on February 10, 2015.”

Similar to Turtle Rock’s Left 4 Dead series, Evolve focuses heavily on multiplayer matches, pitting four human hunters against a series of monsters. Players can also play as the monsters, using the beast’s abilities to turn their hunters into their prey. We got our hands on the game at this year’s PAX and can’t wait to spend more time with it.

Players who pre-order Evolve will get access to the Big Alpha on the platform of their choice, along with those who are lucky enough to score a code in the open. Got a code? Register it here. You may even want to use this  invite and referral code:

08347-97365-66457

Enter Referral Code: EVOLVETOWIN

Stick with Blast for more info on Evolve, including streams of the upcoming Alpha leading up to the game’s February 10 2015 release date.

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Five Finger Death Punch at Tsongas Center, Interview with Jason Hook http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/five-finger-death-punch-tsongas-center-interview-jason-hook/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/five-finger-death-punch-tsongas-center-interview-jason-hook/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 18:43:28 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93195 On Sept. 26, Lowell, Mass. was filled with screams of dozens of Metal fans.  The small town hosted one of the greatest metal shows with Nothing More, Hell Yeah, Volbeat and the headlining gods Five Finger Death Punch. I must admit that a lot people, including myself, were expecting an amazing show with Five Finger(...)

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On Sept. 26, Lowell, Mass. was filled with screams of dozens of Metal fans.  The small town hosted one of the greatest metal shows with Nothing More, Hell Yeah, Volbeat and the headlining gods Five Finger Death Punch. I must admit that a lot people, including myself, were expecting an amazing show with Five Finger Death Punch headlining and Volbeat co-headlining, however, we did not expect Nothing More and Hell Yeah to rock the stage as hard as the two other bands.

The show started with Nothing More. Along with the great songs that started a giant head-bang wave, they fronted a great stage show with all the members playing drums simultaneously, or tapping a single guitar all together, creating a great harmony. Finishing their set, Nothing More left the stage to Hell Yeah. As Vinnie Paul entered, the crowd erupted into cheers. The crowd, already warmed up by Nothing More, was ready the heavier sound of Hell Yeah. At this point of the show, the frequency of the crowd surfing has reached its climax.

Five Finger Death Punch performing live. Media credit to Rob Lawrence.

Five Finger Death Punch performing live. Media credit to Rob Lawrence

To put the final touch on the crowd before Five Finger Death Punch, co-headliner Volbeat took the stage. They provided a great show, although their sound was significantly lighter compared to the other bands taking part in the show. It is important to point out that a significant part of their show included “Acoustic Guitar” and lighter sounds that came along with it. They even paid tribute to Jonny Cash with the song “Ring of Fire”.

After a brief set, Volbeat left the stage, and Five Finger Death Punch began. After vocalist Ivan Moody hit the stage with a baseball bat, the band started to show with a somewhat heavier set including “Under and Over It”, “Burn it Down”, “Hard to See” and “Lift me Up”. The crown accompanied the band by singing along, with tons of moshing.

At this point of the show, Moody took some time to talk about veterans and pointing out the sacrifices they are making to protect us and provide us with freedom. He asked the audience to thank all the veterans, to which the crowd show their support with screams and a great applause. Following the topic, the band began to play “Burn MF” and Moody invited the the young metal heads to the stage. In less than a minute the stage was filled with 10 to 15 kids. They stayed on stage throughout the song, trying to accompany the tempo with their hands in the shape of small devil horns and their head-bangs. I must say it was one of the cutest scenes I have seen.

One of the greatest highlights of the show was the drums solo of Jeremy Spencer. He was wearing a skull mask that resembles to the mascot of the band.

Five Finger Death Punch's iconic Knucklehead mask. Media credit to Jonathan Barkan of Bloody-disgusting.com

Five Finger Death Punch’s iconic Knucklehead mask. Media credit to Jonathan Barkan of Bloody-disgusting.com

You can find a link to the drum solo here. Unfortunately the video is just a tiny portion of the solo. The band is still on tour, so if you have the chance to catch any of the upcoming shows, I would say don’t miss it. Even the drum solo itself is a good reason to see these guys.

Following the drums solo, the band stepped into more of an acoustic set. The band played “Remember Everything”, “Battle Born”, “Coming Down” and then they switched back to their hardcore sound with “Never Enough” and “Here to Die” before going into a short encore.

Following the encore Moody came back to the stage alone, singing “Far From Home” a capella. The band returned to finish the show with “The Way of the First”, “The Bleeding” and a cover of the famous song “House of The Rising Sun”.

With Moody’s chaotic frontmanship, Jason Hook’s custom guitar that lit up and his awesome guitar solos, Chris Kael’s epic beard and bass lines, and Zoltan Bathory’s incredible riffs and his interaction with the crowd, the show was unique one of its kind. They knocked the crowd out with a true five finger death punch. Besides all, the band showed that they are much more than being just a metal band by showing their patriotism and awareness of the current issues in out world.

Below you can find the  interview Sinan had with the guitarist Jason Hook.

 

Blast: The tour has just kicked off. So far, so good?

Hook: Everything is perfect.

Blast: Well, there are a lot of people out there, in my generation, who get inspiration from 5FDP. Who were your inspirations? I know you have mentioned Dimebag in one of your interviews previously.

Hook: Well, when I was your age my favorite band was Kiss. I loved Kiss and I was looking into Ace Frehley. In the 80s I was really looking into, you know, Eddie Van Halen and stuff like that. I thought Eddie was just awesome. And when we got into 90s, early 90s it was Dimebag because he was just wild. And Zakk Wylde too, you know. These were aggressive and exciting.

BLAST: I think we can agree that the band made it to the top really fast. Debut album in 2007, in the blink of an eye, it’s 5FDP everywhere. How did this happen? It is just that people liked your songs or is there more to it?

Hook: Well, I think that our band has a lot of elements that are appealing. Not only the heavy-duty lyrics but there are performance from every single individual. Certainly, I am trying to deliver on the guitar, solo side. Jerry on the drums, Zoltan on the rhythm and stuff. I think there is a lot of connected development that other bands may not have. And I feel pretty lucky. If people like it, perfect.

Media credit to MSO PR.

Media credit to MSO PR.

BLAST: Did this cause any pressure on you? Like, I did something and people liked it. Now I need to do better.

Hook: I think we always like to feel like we are moving forward and moving up. Putting that pressure on yourself is tricky because you don’t want it to have a negative effect on your brain, being a little fear based. You just have to walk a little bit forward and remember that whatever you did that became successful in the beginning just came from your heart and feelings and it should still be there, regardless of the success, money and whatever is there happening to confuse you.

BLAST: Are there any artists out there that are active right now that you would like to collaborate with?

Hook: Certainly there is a fantasy list. We could sit here all day, talking about who I would like to work with. I think it would be great to get involved with Eminem or something like that. Because he is a super star.

BLAST: From the very beginning to today: was there any point where you were out of it and wanted to call it off and pulled yourself back together? Or maybe you just got bored with tours, the same set list etc.?

Hook: Not yet. It is still thrilling. We are still trying to take it all the way. We are not crusty yet. I think that if there was a band so big that they just forget how hard it was to get there. But we are still hungry for more.

BLAST: What is next for the band?

Hook: This tour will take us all the way up to end of October. Then we get a few weeks off and then we go to Japan [for] Knotfest, the Slipknot festival, and then I think we are off for the rest of the year.

BLAST: Working on album maybe?

Hook: Always, always.

Jason Hook performing with Five Finger Death Punch at the Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid. Media Credit to Víctor Roces

Jason Hook performing with Five Finger Death Punch at the Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid. Media Credit to Víctor Roces

BLAST: Can fans expect any changes on the sound?

Hook: I think it is too early to tell. We are always trying to be creative on the down time. It is low pressure part of the process. We are just tossing around ideas, when there is no pressure and I think it will be going on maybe until March.

BLAST: We don’t have the metal scene that you had in 80s. We just don’t have that crowd. Do you have anything to say about the metal scene today?

Hook: Well, I think I see a lot of repeated type formula from the newer bands. It seems like the same sound, cookie cutter vocals and then the melodic chorus and then the same guitar sound. Blast beat etc. We get demos in the meet-and-greet. I put the cd in to see if there is anything original.

BLAST: Is it because people are just trying to imitate their favorite band?

Hook: I think that is where it starts. You have a hero, you have a band that you admire and the first thing you try is to try to sound like that. As soon as you can try to come up with your own ideas, something different.

BLAST: Fan clubs are really popular nowadays. Are you thinking of starting one?

Hook: We have self-titled them the knuckleheads but we don’t have that pay-some-money-per-year-and-belong fan club. I am just curious, with all the internet today—and you know there was KISS army back in the 70s, where you would get a hand written letter, a package in mail—I am just curious what kind of things you can offer that you wouldn’t be able to get via social media. Cause everything now, you would pretty much be able to get for free. We kind of have the meet-and-greet right now. We try to give out things that you cannot find anywhere else.

BLAST: If the music thing didn’t work out, did you have a plan to do something else?

Hook: I would most probably be doing some sort of computer related work because I like computers, you know? Whether it was graphic design or web design. I am always in front of the computer.

BLAST: Any advice to the musicians?

Hook: Study song writing, you know? And always be creating. Always practice rhythms.

BLAST: Finally, any thing you want to say to your fans?

Hook: Let’s see what can I draw attention to. Well, we have the brand new single, just went to radio, that supports the charity PTSD—post traumatic stress disorder for all the troops. And we put together a fund and we have already raised $240,000 for a charity, to go to anyone who is suffering from PTSD and it has far exceeded our expectations so again just spreading the awareness, if you have anything, to help out.

On behalf of Five Finger Death Punch, please consider supporting American veterans via the band’s fundraising page. Be sure to check out their tribute video for Wrong Side of Heaven.

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The Blast Interview: Asaf Borger http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-asaf-borger/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-asaf-borger/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 15:18:52 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93189 This past Monday, Blast’s Madeline Knutson had the opportunity to speak to world-famous EDM artist Asaf Borger, better known by his stage name of Borgore. The Israeli-born producer is currently working on a collaboration EP with musicians from his label. This is one man who is definitely more than meets the eye. Known for his(...)

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This past Monday, Blast’s Madeline Knutson had the opportunity to speak to world-famous EDM artist Asaf Borger, better known by his stage name of Borgore. The Israeli-born producer is currently working on a collaboration EP with musicians from his label. This is one man who is definitely more than meets the eye. Known for his twitter hashtag, #BootyforBorgore, and his raunchy performances and music videos, Borger spoke professionally and honestly about his inspirations, his future plans, and the events that made him the man he is today.

 

Blast: Since you are Israeli, you served in the military at 18. How do you think that molded your personality?

Borger: The military shapes you from a teenager into an adult. That experience doesn’t have to be the army; it can be any type of service to society you do, whether helping the elderly or rescuing animals. When you contribute to your society and your country, it gives you responsibility. Because of the army, I have never missed a flight, a show, or submitted work late. The army put discipline in me.

Blast: What music and musical artists did you grow up listening to?

Borger: I grew up listening to everything. I love the Spice Girls, jazz music—Miles Davis and Dexter Gordon—and classical music, Mozart and Bach. Growing up, my musical taste was just all over the place.

Blast: You studied jazz and played the saxophone, then transitioned into playing in a metal band. Today, you are an EDM producer playing worldwide. Do you feel that was a natural transition for you? What do you see are the similarities, if any, in those styles?

Borger: I wouldn’t say it was a natural transition. Lots of jazz players become metal musicians and vice-versa because both genres are very complicated. They both give you a lot of room to try really unique harmonics and time signatures. Jazz, metal, and even classical music are parallel genres. As far as changing to EDM, I really wanted to feel the energy from the crowd when I played my music. If I had continued with jazz, the audience would have been a bunch of old dudes drinking whiskey and clapping their hands. If I was going to work so hard to produce my music, I wanted the same energy from the crowd. I liked metal because of the mosh pits, but with a band, sometimes you put in tons of effort and the other members don’t contribute as much. I decided to be a producer because I love that today I could wake up and create one tune and tomorrow it’s a different adventure. It fits my taste in music and my personality.

Asaf Borger plans to release a new EP this year. Media Credit to Jasmine Safaeian

Asaf Borger plans to release a new EP this year. Media Credit to Jasmine Safaeian

Blast: How did you first get introduced to EDM?

Borger: I was introduced to trance music at a very early age. By 13, I already had a full beard and would lie about my age to sneak into underground raves and see various gigs. About five or six years later, when I was very deep into drum, bass, trance, and house and going to electronic music events every week, I found out about dubstep. It changed my life and I decided that this was my future.

 

Blast: How would you define the term “success”? Do you think that as your career has progressed, that definition has changed?

Borger: Success is when a person is happy. If you are a teacher and you are actually helping children learn and you’re happy, you are successful. There are different definitions for each person. I never feel successful, that’s my OCD. Even at the point I am at right now, playing huge shows, all I want to do is work on more music. I don’t feel like I have gotten to the point I want to get to yet.

Blast: What inspires you?

Borger: Lots of things and people inspire me. It’s not just from music. Seeing a good movie, like with Leonardo DiCaprio, that’s f***ing amazing. Like every movie him and [Martin] Scorsese do. Seeing really talented non-EDM music inspires me. My mom inspires me. Inspiration really comes from everywhere.

Blast: Who do you want to collaborate with in the future/ what has been your best collaboration so far?

Borger: There are lots of people I want to collab with. I am actually collaborating with a lot of them right now. I am working on a collab album with all my team and my friends. Working with my friends makes the best music and the best vibes.

Blast: Who do you think are the top three up and coming producers right now?

Borger: I’m biased because I think two guys on my team, Don Farber and Jauz, have huge potential. They are both on my label and I love them to death. Another really nice dude, Must Die, is very talented as well.

Asaf Borger. Media Credit to Steven Pahel.

Asaf Borger. Media Credit to Steven Pahel.

Blast: How did being from Israel play a part in your musical journey?

Borgore: Israel is an amazing place for people to discover music. Every day of the week, you can go out and there will be five or six different bars in Tel Aviv all playing music that you have never heard before. It’s how I discovered music. On a Monday night, a bar is open until 5 and everyone is getting turnt up, animal house style. You can just hop between bars and listen to different music. Nothing is commercial.

Blast: What’s next for you as an artist and for your label?

Borgore: I am working on a collab EP that is going to be followed by a tour with all my friends. It is very exciting for me and I am looking forward to it.

Blast: If you could tell one message to any young people aspiring to be a producer, what would it be?

Borgore: Be Michael Phelps. Practice 12 hours a day.

 

Make sure to check out Borgore on twitter at @Borgore and listen to #NEWGOREORDER.

 

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Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor — The Blast review http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/middle-earth-shadow-mordor-blast-review/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/middle-earth-shadow-mordor-blast-review/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 02:33:07 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93178 Otha the Immovable. I’d hunted the bastard for days. Following his every move, interrogating his henchmen. I learned his fears and his weakness. There would be no more charging into battle; I learned my lesson at the wrong end of his sword too much to make that mistake again. Once one of his henchmen squealed(...)

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Otha the Immovable. I’d hunted the bastard for days. Following his every move, interrogating his henchmen. I learned his fears and his weakness. There would be no more charging into battle; I learned my lesson at the wrong end of his sword too much to make that mistake again. Once one of his henchmen squealed that he feared fire and was vulnerable to stealth attacks the plan was set. I stalked him until he arrived near a campsite for his men and made my move. I lit up the sky with explosions and gave him no where to hide. When he was trying to make his escape I dove from the top of a nearby canopy and plunged my dagger into his back. Watching him crumple to the ground lifeless was more satisfying than I could ever imagine; that was until he rose again and sent me to an early grave while I searched for my next target.  This, in essence is the genius of Shadow of Mordor.

4 out of 5 stars There’s a disturbing trend going through the game industry lately that promotes familiarity over risk and innovation. It’s the same trend that allows yearly game releases to overshadow those that set out to try something new. I thought that Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor would be just another to follow the trend, but much to my surprise (and delight), the game takes some very heavy risks, and though they don’t pay off, it makes this a must play. While some of those risks pay off more than others, Monolith Productions has crafted a love letter to the Tolkien universe that’s also wholly their own.

Set between the events of The Hobbit and the Fellowship of the Ring, Shadow of Mordor follows the story of Talion, a Ranger of Gandor — or at least he was one. Talion meets his untimely end in the game’s opening cinematic where him and his family are  ritually executed in incredibly brutal fashion. As you might have expected, Talion doesn’t stay too dead for too long and winds up being sent back to earth with some fancy new powers to wreck havoc and take revenge on Sauron’s forces. If you’ve got an extensive knowledge of the Tolkien universe, it’s pretty obvious that there are some glaring potholes that make this a hard to believe story but it’s entertaining enough to forgive. Besides, it pays homage to the source material with some great fan service while being brave enough try to tell it’s own unique story in a very much loved piece of fiction.         Gameplay wise, Shadow of Mordor has a lot in common with the Batman: Arkham series, much like a lot of the third-persona action games of the last few years but the catch here is that Monolith almost does it better than the original. You’ll sulk through Middle-Earth and either attack your enemies either head-on or via stealth and each one is equally satisfying. Combat is rhythmic in nature and flows quite well from enemy to enemy. The combat system is a bit more forgiving here than it was with the caped crusader, specifically with counters and reversals; I was almost always able to complete a counter move, where Arkham almost forced you to be perfect or fail.

Most importantly, the combat in Shadow of Mordor almost always feels incredibly satisfying. Whether you’re sneaky around trying to kill without being noticed or jumping head first into the fray, lessening the armies of Sauron always feels great, especially when you’re able to end it with a brutally violent finishing attack that often ends with your enemies losing a limb or worse. Combat lies at the heart of Shadow of Mordor and you’re going to do a lot of it, and thankfully it’s this fun and rewarding. To be fair, it can get a bit repetitive towards the end half of the game, but the game let’s you build up Talion’s skill tree pretty quickly, which allows you to experiment with much more powerful moves and combos as you progress through the game.

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Truth be told, it’s this upgrade system that kept me going through Shadow of Mordor, even when the story lulled and the combat got most repetitive. Killing an Uruk captain will drop a rune that you can use to attach to your weapons and abilities, often giving you very different results. Some of these rune’s give you invulnerability to certain attacks, while others modify your own attacks. Some of my favorite rune effects gave me the ability to string together longer combos , which made the game’s combat system that much more enjoyable. Later on in the game you gain the ability to control the mind’s of your enemies, which opens up a whole new world of gameplay. You can either force them to off themselves, tell their comrades about the terror you’ve instilled in them or even force them to try to assassinate leaders in their own armies. It’s a cool little system that adds a whole new level of depth to the game, but more importantly, it leads you into the game’s most intriguing feature — the Nemesis system.

Think of the Nemesis system as the beating heart that keeps Shadow of Mordor moving, or at least interesting. If you don’t kill certain enemies, they’ll remember you and either be scared of you next time they see you or seek revenge for the brutal attack they suffered at your hands. Some enemies will even come back disfigured as a result of your attacks. On the counter side, if an enemy kills you, they’ll level up, get cool new armor, get promoted and gloat about it next time they see you (you’re banished from death in the story, so it makes sense that you keep coming back). There’s a cool hierarchy of enemies that’s constantly evolving within the world of Shadow of Mordor and it’s incredibly cool to watch it change over time, but it’s even better when you realize that you can play with it and use it to your advantage.

Either by intimidation or by possessing your enemies and sicking them after their own leaders you can directly impact the lives and ranks of your enemies. It’s extremely cool to send a lowly enemy after to kill a general and then watch said lowly enemy assume the throne. More importantly the Nemesis system makes every battle matter and keeps Shadow of Mordor from being a grind-fest. The Nemesis system also adds a ton of depth and replay to a game that’s already packed with content.

Brutal, filled with content and incredibly fun to explore, Shadow of Mordor plays like a love letter to the Tolkein Universe that isn’t afraid to strike out on it’s own. I’ll admit that I didn’t expect a lot from Monolith Production’s foray into MiddleEarth, but I was completely surprised at how much fun I had with it. Fans of the Lord of the Rings universe finally have a game that’s worth their passion and those who just like a good action game can’t go wrong here

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Interview with Guardians of the Galaxy’s Michael Rooker http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/interview-guardians-galaxys-michael-rooker/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/movies/interview-guardians-galaxys-michael-rooker/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 03:45:35 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93149 This article contains mild spoilers for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. When he isn’t traversing the galaxy or at war with zombies, Michael Rooker is still a pretty tough guy. The actor, biker, and shooting range extraordinaire, perhaps best known for playing Merle on AMC’s The Walking Dead, took on a different type of genre(...)

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This article contains mild spoilers for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

When he isn’t traversing the galaxy or at war with zombies, Michael Rooker is still a pretty tough guy. The actor, biker, and shooting range extraordinaire, perhaps best known for playing Merle on AMC’s The Walking Dead, took on a different type of genre fare this year in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

The film, a box-office smash in the same cinematic universe as The Avengers, centers around a band of outlaw heroes, the titular guardians. Rooker plays Yondu, a blue-skinned archer who adopts Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill into his band of thieves, only to be double-crossed. Naturally, drama ensues.

Blast Magazine’s Georgeanne Oliver spoke with Rooker about his new super gig, his time on The Walking Dead, and his upcoming projects.

Rooker was already familiar with the Guardians when he was cast, but still wanted to delve deeper. “When [Director James Gunn] told me I was going to play Yondu, I wanted to do a lot more research, but he told me to hold off on doing too much because his version of Yondu was a wee bit different from the original,” said Rooker. The character, who was one of the original Guardians in the comics, has been updated for the big screen. “Our script was kind of a brand new take on Yondu. There were still some elements from the older Yondu, but a lot of it was brand new and fresh.” Despite the new take, Rooker did try to add as much of the original comics as possible into his performance.

When asked where he’d like to see Yondu go in the future, Rooker’s answer was, “far-reaching places!” He added that he’d love to see the character flushed out even more and is open to playing Yondu in either the current story or in flashbacks. Fans of the films know that Peter Quill’s mysterious biological father will likely be revealed in an upcoming film, and when that happens, the unseen character’s rocky history with Yondu may come into play.

Rooker averaged five hours a day transforming into the alien character, most of which were spent in the makeup chair. When asked how he entertained himself during that time, he said “I try to sleep, but my head keeps bobbing up and down.” Regardless, the lengthy process wasn’t a deterrent for Rooker in taking the role. “It was not a big deal for me,” he said.

Yondu has a certain darkness in common with Merle and several other Rooker roles. The actor admitted that he’s often interested in meaty, dark roles. “I like that Yondu is a tough character, you know? You don’t want to mess with this guy. His weapon of choice is damn powerful!” The weapon in reference is an arrow that Yondu can operate, not with a bow, but simply by whistling. Take that, Hawkeye.

Rooker’s time on The Walking Dead has come to end, and, though he is open to the idea, he doesn’t see a reappearance in flashbacks happening. “Rick used up all those delusional flashbacks after you started seeing his wife!” Rooker joked. That’s alright, though, because he’s satisfied with Merle’s arc. “What we ended up doing was really amazing,” he said.  “If your gonna go out, you might as well go out like Merle did, because that was a killer way to go out!”

Coming up next, Rooker has a few films in the works, including a biopic about jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden. The first attempt at making the project a reality was almost seven years ago, but after almost a decade, Rooker is still attached and a version of the film is finally moving forward. “The script is fabulous and I think it’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful endeavor,” he said. Rooker was secretive about the project, but revealed that his character is an Irish-American named Pat. Rooker is also currently starring in an Illinois Department of Transportation commercial aimed at saving lives.

On a future with the Marvel films, Rooker was very enthusiastic. “I really enjoyed being involved with Marvel, and hence working with my friend, James Gunn. I think it’s a great project. Hell, I’m up for 10 more!” We can only hope the writers will give us more of the badass, heavily-accented anti-hero. One thing is for certain: Michael Rooker is in!

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Three adventure games that transform your smartphone to an entertainment magnet http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/three-adventure-games-transform-smartphone-entertainment-magnet/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/three-adventure-games-transform-smartphone-entertainment-magnet/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:13:31 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93139 Gone are the days when games with high end graphics could be enjoyed only on computer. You can now carry a whole big load of such high quality and optimal performance games right in your pocket. Turn your phone into a source of endless addictive entertainment with these best picks. Gem Miner The game combines(...)

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Gone are the days when games with high end graphics could be enjoyed only on computer. You can now carry a whole big load of such high quality and optimal performance games right in your pocket. Turn your phone into a source of endless addictive entertainment with these best picks.

Gem Miner

The game combines simplicity of playing strategy and interesting twists and surprises as you progress in the game. Purely addictive and adventurous, the game requires the player to be the miner who digs mines in order to get metal ores and gems. As you find more and more of these, you can upgrade your equipment which has the benefit of allowing you to dig deeper for more of such treasure. At the same time, you need to be cautious so as not to fall down, get stuck in a mine or worst of all- get crushed by rocks. There’s always something you can do about it- buy ladders, lifts and protective gear to avoid getting stuck. With lots of levels to cross, this game keeps you engrossed all the time.

Temple Run Brave

The Temple Run games are already favorites amongst many. The Brave version with its high quality graphics and amazing sound effects is all the more fascinating.  Since the game has been developed by Disney, you can set high expectation from the game as regards everything- the plot, theme, setting, graphics, etc. As you steal the cursed idol from the temple and run head over heels, you are chased by the demon, Outrun Mordu who wouldn’t allow you to live. Run for your life to earn points and unfurl many surprises in the game. The archery feature of the game is a pleasant addition to this Temple Run series and is definitely something so captivating that you can’t help getting addicted to the game.

The Simpsons: Tapped Out

Slot games like Slotomania free video slots games are running high on the popularity chart. It is highly rated by the players and one of the best ways to have fun, these cute games remind us of the Simpsons game which is most popular amongst those who prefer a different kind of game and experience.  Developed by EA Swiss Sarl, the game begins as a meltdown occurs in Springfield and your job is to rebuild and refurbish things starting from scratch. Just build the town as you’d like and wait for many freebies to come your way.

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The Blast Interview: Rudimental http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-rudimental/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/blast-interview-rudimental/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 03:02:14 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93127 After traveling from Mansfield, Mass. and performing with Ed Sheeran, the guys of Rudimental got a chance to rest on their tour bus outside NAGA, a nightclub in Cambridge. The band was gearing up for a DJ set, their second performance of the night. Composed of four members from the UK—Amir Amor, Kesi Dryden, Piers(...)

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After traveling from Mansfield, Mass. and performing with Ed Sheeran, the guys of Rudimental got a chance to rest on their tour bus outside NAGA, a nightclub in Cambridge. The band was gearing up for a DJ set, their second performance of the night. Composed of four members from the UK—Amir Amor, Kesi Dryden, Piers Agget, and DJ Locksmith (Leon Rolle)—Rudimental is an EDM/Drum n’ Bass group touring the U.S. to promote their debut album Home, which was released in April of last year. Blast’s Cat Michaels sat down with Dryden, Agget, and Rolle before their second performance to learn more about the start of Rudimental, their influences, growing success, and their future aspirations.

 

Blast: Not being as well known in the US as in countries such as Europe and Australia, could you guys give a quick origin story about how you all met?

 Agget: We went to school together from the age of three and grew up on the same roads. We loved music from an early age, used to DJ in each other’s bedrooms and play football together, or “soccer.” We grew up, you know, making music from an early age doing Pirate Radio, which are illegal radio stations in the UK. We met Amir and started making music together about six years ago with him and here we are now with our album Home and a couple hit singles touring the world. It’s crazy, in a nutshell.

Rudimental, UK EDM sensation, performed both at the Xfinity Center and NAGA Sept. 9.

Rudimental, UK EDM sensation, performed both at the Xfinity Center and NAGA Sept. 9. Media Credit to Big Beat Press

Blast: Your music is labeled as EDM/Drum n’ Bass, but you have vocals on all of your tracks. What influenced to make that decision and who were your musical influences in general?

Dryden: I mean, I think we grew up listening to lots of different styles of music and the soul influence is quite a big part of growing up were we grew in London. Our parents were very into soul music like bluesy jazz created out of soul and emotion. We just felt like vocals suited a lot of our tracks and we always wanted the right vocalists for the right track. We sort of went around doing A&R ourselves find different vocalists we thought would suit the right song.

Rolle: Growing up on the streets of London, Hackney is where we’re from, which is in London, is a very multicultural place, very vibrant. You could walk on our streets and be influenced easily. Those are some of the biggest things that have influenced us. Some of the people, like artists, that have influenced us are like Lauryn Hill, Sly and the Family Stone, and Massive Attack. Like people say, we have a lot of old heads on our shoulders. And then you’ve got the rave culture in London as well. The underground scene, old school jungle, old school garage, and the UK-ness of it all, which has sort of fused all of our music together.

Blast: What is the process of choosing a vocalist for one of your tracks?

 Rolle: We are really stubborn about what kind of vocalist we want on our tracks. As you probably can tell, there is a similarity between all of them. They’ve got a soulfulness to them. For example, our first single “Feel the Love” was with John Newman, who was unsigned at the time, and we met him in a pub in the UK. He was playing his guitar doing an acoustic session and we thought he would sound wicked on that track. That kind of followed suit when we started hanging around with our friends that could sing and write songs. MNEK has a studio right next to ours and he is featured on some of our tracks. And then you’ve got Syron and Sinead Harnett, all coming to us in the same way. We’ve done the same thing so far with the second album, creating with some vocalists.

Agget: The second album is coming really soon. Not this year as of yet, but maybe 2015.

Blast: Do you guys assist in the lyric writing process?

 Agget: We get involved in everything.

Rolle: Yeah, everything, from the writing process to the producing. The thing is, we are musicians, you know, we come from playing instruments and therefore it’s easy to get into the studio and just jam out.

Blast: Speaking of collaborations, you guys just came from Mansfield, Mass. tonight with Ed Sheeran. How has it been working with him?

 Agget: Yeah, it’s been great! We did a studio session last year in LA and we did like four tracks with The Game and wrote “Bloodstream” with Ed Sheeran. We kind of developed a relationship because we are on the same label and we all kind of came up in the UK as well. He did loads of small pubs around the corner from us when he was starting out in London, so it’s like we’ve seen him grow and obviously he is huge out here. It’s great to see his show and see him hit the stage. We’ve got a good relationship with him and it’s great to be on tour with him, lots of fun.

Rolle: One of our tracks is featured on his album and he will be featured on our new album as well. So we are really excited and looking forward to getting it out to the public. It will be a new chapter in our lives.

 

Fans can expect the new album to drop in 2015. Media credit to Big Beat Press

Fans can expect the new album to drop in 2015. Media credit to Big Beat Press

Blast: What vocalist would you like to work with next, or ever, if you could?

 Rolle: Like I mentioned before, we would loved to work with Miss Lauryn Hill. We would love to revamp who she was in the past and bring her to some new stuff. We are big fans of The Fugees and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, that was great album.

Blast: What would you say to musicians who are starting out now? You guys all came from an underground scene, what advice do you have to offer to musicians starting from a similar point?

 Rolle: One thing I would say is don’t expect it to happen overnight because it doesn’t. Even though it may seem like that for some people, for us, for example, Rudimental hasn’t been going on for two years; it’s been going on for many decades and pretty much all our lives. You have to keep believing and finding people that you trust. Most of all, share your work. Let people listen to it. That is very important.

Blast: You already mentioned your last album, but are there any other plans for the future or goals you want to meet?

 Agget: Mostly the album next year and then going on a big world tour at the moment. We want to take the live show to the next level with the new album. In the future we want to deliver the same emotional quality of our music with soul, electronic music with soul. We want to look back in like ten years time with eight albums, or twenty albums, with lots of amazing gigs.

Rolle: Our main mission is just to spread the Rudimental message within our records whether it’s live, or whether it’s a DJ set. We’ve got a lot of spreading the love to do. This tour is helping, but there are still a lot of people that still don’t understand the Rudimental message. It’s not just about music, it’s a culture and vibe and we bring that when we perform live. For example, when we are live, there are nine of us on stage, sometimes ten. There is a brass section, a drummer, free vocalists rotating from live vocals and backing vocals, and us four. We all try to bring across that message.

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Gallery: The Gaslight Anthem plays Boston http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/gallery-gaslight-anthem-plays-boston/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/music/gallery-gaslight-anthem-plays-boston/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 12:51:34 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93106 This past week, one of alternative-rock’s most popular acts The Gaslight Anthem brought their headlining tour in support of Get Hurt to Boston. The show was opened by Twopointeight, a punk/rock band from Sweden. The band has a similar sound to The Gaslight Anthem, which makes a bit of sense – Gaslight’s Brian Fallon produced(...)

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This past week, one of alternative-rock’s most popular acts The Gaslight Anthem brought their headlining tour in support of Get Hurt to Boston.

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The show was opened by Twopointeight, a punk/rock band from Sweden. The band has a similar sound to The Gaslight Anthem, which makes a bit of sense – Gaslight’s Brian Fallon produced their new record.

Against Me! was the next band to play. Fronted by Laura Jane Grace, the band has been one of the most important in the punk scene over the past decade. The band’s most recent record, Transgender Dysphoria Blues was their first since Grace came out as a transgender woman, which met support all throughout the music scene. Their set was nothing short of impressive.

To round out the evening, The Gaslight Anthem played a 20+ song set, featuring numerous songs from Get Hurt, opening with “Stay Vicious,” and “1,000 Years” soon after. The band didn’t neglect old songs either, from “We Came To Dance” and “1930” off of Sink or Swim to newer songs, with every one of their full lengths represented. Brian Fallon’s onstage ramblings, which are always entertaining made for a solid night in between songs. They rounded out their encore with a cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” which was quite electrifying.

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So let’s talk about Destiny… http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/lets-talk-destiny/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/lets-talk-destiny/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 02:00:15 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93165 Before you read this you should know that this is not a Destiny review; at least not in the sense you’d expect. Understand that I’m not even claiming to have come close to finishing what Destiny has to offer — and be wary of anyone who has. Instead, this is more of a commentary of(...)

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Before you read this you should know that this is not a Destiny review; at least not in the sense you’d expect. Understand that I’m not even claiming to have come close to finishing what Destiny has to offer — and be wary of anyone who has. Instead, this is more of a commentary of sorts, it’s me trying to sort out just how I feel about Destiny — one of the most polarizing games I’ve ever played. It’s a game full of complexities; it feels like a living, breathing, evolving entity of its own and while that’s a very unique idea, and one that allows the new franchise a lot of room to grow, it also becomes evident pretty early on that it gets in the way and not even Bungie seems to know where to take series. One things for sure, it’s a game everyone should at least experience — try to follow along.

Destiny is brainchild of Bungie, the creators of the mega popular Halo series and Activision; most well known for Call of Duty and being everyone’s favorite company to hate (well, maybe next to EA). The pedigree of both developers and their history with shooters is evident right away as the shooting mechanics are incredibly sound and feel ahead of many of the establisher first person shooter series. Weapons are weighted well and feel good in your virtual hands, what’s more the game is a bit like Borderlands in a way because there are so many guns to unlock. While they’re not nearly as fun as the weapons you’ll find in Borderlands (Destiny takes a much more serious tone when it comes to its weapons), I did find myself excited to check out what my newest weapons could do and take them into battle. Many of the weapons are just recolored or slightly different than the one before it, I had to keep checking the damage rating to make sure I was getting rid of the right one since they all looked so similar.

With Destiny, Bungie knows it’s bread and butter — creating remarkable action movie style gun battles. Each mission challenges players pretty fairly to their level and introduces new enemy types at a pretty steady rate. You’ll have to think on your feet for most of the missions, especially during the missions that don’t let you respawn. It’s not exactly permadeath for your character, but you’ll be second guessing many of your moves when failure means you’ll have to go back to the last checkpoint in a mission, and for many of Destiny’s longer missions, that means re-trekking over a lot of ground. That’s perhaps where I enjoyed Destiny the most though, when it takes me on a planet spanning mission and I’m trying to think my way out of it, and I’m often down to my last bit of health when it’s all over.

That being said though, Destiny takes few chances when it comes to it’s core game that it can get very repetitive, very fast. Each mission may have different objectives but it almost always comes down to you moving from area to are and shooting down waves of aliens until you move on to the next area…where you’ll shoot more waves of aliens. You’ll go on patrol and raid missions that will feel different early on, but eventually you’ll realize that they all feel incredibly similar. From the moment it was properly revealed to the world at E3 two years ago, Bungie promised something different with Destiny and at least on the surface, it seems like they failed to deliver. I would have loved if the game featured more action centered set pieces like games like Uncharted or Wolfenstein. To be fair, word is that Bungie is working on DLC that will completely change the way we play Destiny, including platforming and puzzle solving mechanics that haven’t been seen in the game so far.

That’s the big draw of Destiny though — the allure of the unknown. Throughout your time with Destiny you’ll travel to a number of planets and collect a ton of different loot. It’s a ton of fun to jet around the solar system and search out loot and adventure. I was a bit disappointed that much like the different guns, a lot of the loot ended up looking similar to other pieces with only minor variations but it’s still a lot of fun to seek out these rewards. It’s in this way that Destiny often feels like it’s own living, breathing and constantly evolving organism; I feel like regardless of how much of a planet I’ve seen and how many times I’ve shot aliens in the same location, it always feels like I’m going to find something new and that says a lot for the longevity of a game like Destiny.

The overall experience of Destiny may feel like it’s living and breathing but the world that inhabit it feel like almost the exact opposite. There’s a distinct lack of voice chat options in Destiny that take away from the experience immensely. You’re really only able to talk to another player if they make the commitment to join your strike team, which spoiler alert — no one but your friends will want to. How was this a good idea? Destiny is a game about the journey, hell; the tagline is even “Become Legend;” but the game’s inability to let me talk to other players makes it a boring journey at times. The game’s hub world is The Tower, which brings together all of the Guardians to equip loot, collect bounties and form Strike Teams; it would be so much fun to be able to meet up with different Guardians and chat them up in the Tower area, maybe ask them where they got their cool loot, or share stories of missions they were just on.

It’s a bit ridiculous that you can’t just voice chat with someone else in the game. Like a lot of recent games, Destiny blurs the line between single player on online multiplayer by having everything take place on one persistent world and for the most part, it’s very successful at it. It’s very cool to be having trouble with a mission and suddenly a group of silent guardians swoop in and help you out but it’s a bit frustrating when you can’t even help each other out by strategizing in any way. Take for example one of the missions I played on the moon stage of the game where I played the entire thing with a player I’ve never met before. We played literally the entire hour and a half mission together but couldn’t communicate because we hadn’t made some sort of weird team commitment to each other. It would have been great to be able to tell my mysterious partner what I was seeing, or let him or her know what that I had discovered the weakness of a boss character we were trying to fight. I found myself yelling it at my TV, but of course they couldn’t hear me.

Bungie also hasn’t been clear as to what Destiny really is, and it suffers a bit as a result. It’s core DNA is no doubt born from shooters before it, but Destiny also shares a lot of its core gameplay with MMORPGs. You’ll play Destiny mostly like a shooter, but enemies tend to attack in packs, more like an MMORPG, but interestingly enough the enemies feature very smart AI, much like the enemies of Halo before it. Bigger enemies can be bullet sponges — it took myself and my partner nearly thirty minutes to defeat a mid-level boss in the mission mentioned above and while the feeling was incredibly rewarding when we finally did beat it, it was bait ridiculous, especially for a mid-boss. There’s nothing wrong with mixing genres in games, but Destiny doesn’t seem ready to commit to to either of it’s ideas.

The story in Destiny leaves a lot to be desired, at least it seems so. There are a lot of fan theories floating around the internet that all point to Bungie holding their cards close to their chest with Destiny, but what’s here is a bit boring. The story only really interjects itself into small portions of the game, and there’s very little in the way of exposition to build on. Just know that you’re a Guardian and your job is to shoot the Darkness. Got it? I actually have been having a lot more fun with Destiny when I don’t pay attention to the story, and make up my own backstory; I’m an assassin, I’m a treasure hunter, I’m a freelance mercenary ala Guardians of the Galaxy. I just really didn’t want to be just another Guardian — especially when there were a lot of other, more powerful Guardians around me.

dest2 destiny-gameplay-screenshot-alien-bumrush Destiny-Screenshot-1 Destiny-Screenshot-10 destiny-screenshot-5 Destiny_32 images Screenshot_venus02

Bungie also doesn’t really explain much beyond the basic ideas of the game at all. Sure, you’ll get the normal tutorial on how to run, shoot and summon your speeder vehicle but beyond that you’re just left to kind of figure everything out on your own. You’ll collect items called Engrams, what the hell you do with them and what they are is only hinted at when you first start finding them. You can also collect mail and bounties from the Tower but you’re not given much of an explanation as to what you have to do to complete a lot of these extra missions, you just kind of stumble into them. I don’t need to be led by the hand in a game, but I do want at least an explanation to the rules of the world, especially when it’s a brand new franchise.

It wouldn’t be much of a Bungie game without competitive multiplayer and Destiny delivers with it’s crucible mode, which delivers fast, fun and frenetic PvP action that you’d expect from the team behind the legendary Halo 2 multiplayer. It’s a lot of fun to use all of your leveled up skills and weapons to test your skills against other Guardians. Be warned, just like other multiplier shooters, there are people who are already really friggin’ good at the game and you’re likely to lose a lot, at least at first. For what it’s worth though, Destiny has a great sense of progression to it and you’ll feel like you’re getting better at it before too long at all.

Destiny is a game that I expect to spend a lot of time with in the coming year. Just how much time depends on just how much Bungie and Activision are planning on adding to experience over the coming months. I’m having a lot of fun with the game, but it often feels like I’m doing it despite it’s best efforts for me not to.  It’s an interesting and unique first person shooter with the potential to become a massive franchise — if it develops its fan base and universe the right way. Are you playing Destiny? I’m curious to know what you think of it so far, comment below and let us know!

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Sarah Jaffe comes to Great Scott 9/11 http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/sarah-jaffe-comes-great-scott-911/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/sarah-jaffe-comes-great-scott-911/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:32:13 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93087 Indie singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe will be continuing her national tour at Allston’s Great Scott on Sept. 11. The Texas native just released her third studio album, Don’t Disconnect, on Aug. 19 and has been touring since July with The Polyphonic Spree. The second leg of her tour will be with hip-hop artists Astronautalis, Stage, and Transit. Don’t Disconnect, Jaffe’s latest album, was produced(...)

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Indie singer-songwriter Sarah Jaffe will be continuing her national tour at Allston’s Great Scott on Sept. 11. The Texas native just released her third studio album, Don’t Disconnect, on Aug. 19 and has been touring since July with The Polyphonic Spree. The second leg of her tour will be with hip-hop artists Astronautalis, Stage, and Transit.

Sarah Jaffe continues her USA Tour at Great Scott.

Sarah Jaffe continues her USA Tour at Great Scott.

Don’t Disconnect, Jaffe’s latest album, was produced by Kirtland Records and marks a distinct shift in Jaffe’s sound. While her prior albums were noted for their folksy, acoustic sounds, Don’t Disconnect is far more electric than her previous work.  Jaffe has received rave reviews for the album; NPR’s First Listen called her “…a ferociously intelligent artist who never stops inventing, reinventing, exploring…” while The Portland Mercury wrote that “Sarah Jaffe is a musical wonder evolving at warp speed.”

Be sure to catch Jaffe Sept. 11 for what is sure to be a fantastic combination of hip-hop and indie. Tickets are available through Great Scott for $14. The show is 18+ and starts at 8:30 p.m.

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MisterWives Headlines Sinclair 8/29 http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/misterwives-headlines-sinclair-829/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/misterwives-headlines-sinclair-829/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:23:31 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93079 New York trio MisterWives will be headlining a show at the Sinclair Friday, August 29th with supporting acts Young Rising Sons and Prelow. Although the band has only been around for two years, they dropped their first EP “Reflections” in early 2014 and their song “Vagabond” is the theme song on MTV’s hit show Finding Carter. With their(...)

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New York trio MisterWives will be headlining a show at the Sinclair Friday, August 29th with supporting acts Young Rising Sons and Prelow.

Misterwives' Mandy Lee, William Hehir, and Etienne Bowler. Media credit to Shervin Lanez.

Misterwives’ Mandy Lee, William Hehir, and Etienne Bowler. Media credit to Shervin Lanez.

Although the band has only been around for two years, they dropped their first EP “Reflections” in early 2014 and their song “Vagabond” is the theme song on MTV’s hit show Finding Carter. With their fun, catchy indie-pop, Misterwives is simply a dance-party waiting to happen. Buzzfeed premiered the band’s newest music video for the title track off of “Reflections” this week. Check it out here.

Doors open at 7:30 pm and the show begins at 8:30. Get your tickets here through the Sinclair.

 

 

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Discovery’s MythBusters Says Goodbye to Kari Byron, Tony Belleci, and Grant Imahara http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/discoverys-mythbusters-says-goodbye-kari-byron-tony-belleci-grant-imahara/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/discoverys-mythbusters-says-goodbye-kari-byron-tony-belleci-grant-imahara/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:58:35 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93075 MythBusters will look a little different when The Discovery Channel airs new episodes of the hit show. On Thursday, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman announced that the episode that aired on August 21 would be the last for familiar faces Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara. Both Byron and Imahara reached out to their(...)

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MythBusters will look a little different when The Discovery Channel airs new episodes of the hit show. On Thursday, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman announced that the episode that aired on August 21 would be the last for familiar faces Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, and Grant Imahara.

Both Byron and Imahara reached out to their fans via Twitter to talk about the change and leave some parting words about the show.

“Thank you to all the fans who have supported us. The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world,” Byron tweeted. “I love you all @MythBusters. I am sad for an ending but there will be exciting new adventures for us.”

Imahara wrote, “Thanks @MythBusters for allowing us to teach science in a whole new way. Also, explosions. Now, on to the next adventure!”

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will return as the sole hosts for the show when it starts back up with new episodes.

At the end of an interview with Blast’s Danielle VIsco, Kari Byron left with these parting words of wisdom, “don’t have time to waste time.” Hopefully she, Belleci, and Imahara will still subscribe to that sentiment as they move on to their next endeavors.

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Graphic: What to do after a car accident http://blastmagazine.com/features/graphic-car-accident/ http://blastmagazine.com/features/graphic-car-accident/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:03:32 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93071 OK so you’ve been in a car accident. Do you know what to do now? First make sure nobody got hurt, in any of the vehicles. Don’t panic, and see the tips below! Via: Lambergoodnow.com

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OK so you’ve been in a car accident. Do you know what to do now? First make sure nobody got hurt, in any of the vehicles. Don’t panic, and see the tips below! Via: Lambergoodnow.com

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Preview: Keys N’ Krates Announces New EP and Fall Tour With Gladiator http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/preview-keys-n-krates-announces-new-ep-fall-tour-gladiator/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/preview-keys-n-krates-announces-new-ep-fall-tour-gladiator/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:45:01 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93050 Every so often I come across an artist that I think really nails their genre. Keys N’ Krates is one of those artsts, bringing a unique live element to the world of trap and hip-hop beats. Keys N’ Krates performs live as a three piece band: drummer Adam Tune, keyboardist David Matisse, and turntablist Jr.(...)

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Every so often I come across an artist that I think really nails their genre. Keys N’ Krates is one of those artsts, bringing a unique live element to the world of trap and hip-hop beats. Keys N’ Krates performs live as a three piece band: drummer Adam Tune, keyboardist David Matisse, and turntablist Jr. Flo. After seeing them live at the Hudson Music Project, I jumped onto Keys N’ Krates’ soundcloud and was impressed with their sound. Two of my favorites are the Tove Lo Flip of their track “High All the Time” and
“Dum De Dum”.

In anticipation of their new EP, Every Nite, Keys N’ Krates has announced a huge fall tour featuring Gladiator and Thugli. This tour will have them see over 30 shows over three months with stops in LA, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, and Pheonix.

Be sure to check out Keys N’ Krates in Boston 10/30 at the Middle East. Tickets here.

a838bc1c edd7 4bdb aed1 db3a1cd19202 Keys N Krates Announces Upcoming EP and Huge Fall Tour with Gladiator

Every Nite Tracklist:

1. Understand Why
2. Hypnotik 
3. Are We Faded
4. Yes We Faded
5. Your Love 
6. She’s So High

Keys N Krates & Gladiator Every Nite Tour Dates:

9/18 – Phoenix, AZ – Monarch Theatre
9/19 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues++
9/20 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre++
9/24 – Seattle, WA – Showbox Theatre @ SoDo (Decibel Festival)
9/27 – COMING SOON
9/28 – Fairburn, GA – Tomorrowworld**
9/30 – Whistler, BC – Garfinkles
10/1 – Revelstroke, BC – Treverse
10/3 – Edmonton, AB – Encore
10/4 – Sacramento, CA – Launch Festival**
10/5 – Calgary, AB – Commonwealth
10/7 – Boise, ID – Revolution Center
10/8 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
10/9 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre
10/10 – Ft. Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre
10/11 – Colorado Springs, CO – Rawkus
10/14 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
10/15 – Austin, TX – Empire
10/16 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre
10/17 – Biloxi, MS – Kress Live
10/18 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
10/19 – Birmingham, AL – Workplay Theatre
10/21 – Murfreesboro, TN – Tempt
10/22 – Chattanooga, TN – Track 29
10/23 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
10/24 – Charlotte, NC – Chop Shop
10/26 – Buffalo, NY – Waiting Room
10/28 – Syracuse, NY – Westcott Theater
10/29 – COMING SOON
10/30 – Boston, MA – Middle East
10/31 – COMING SOON
11/1 – COMING SOON
11/5 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater
11/6 – COMING SOON
11/7 – COMING SOON
11/8 – COMING SOON
11/9 – Carborro, NC – Cat’s Cradle 

**KEYS N KRATES ONLY
++ KEYS N KRATES W/ SPECIAL GUEST & THUGLI

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My Sit Down with Space Jesus http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/sit-space-jesus/ http://blastmagazine.com/entertainment/sit-space-jesus/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 17:40:25 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93034 Space Jesus is exactly who you would expect him to be. I had the chance to get an hour with music producer Jasha Tull, a.k.a. Space Jesus. His usual routine includes creating psychedelic bass music, touring around festivals, sacrificing himself for humanity’s sins, and other space-related activities. While taking to Space Jesus, I was reminded of(...)

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Space Jesus is exactly who you would expect him to be. I had the chance to get an hour with music producer Jasha Tull, a.k.a. Space Jesus. His usual routine includes creating psychedelic bass music, touring around festivals, sacrificing himself for humanity’s sins, and other space-related activities. While taking to Space Jesus, I was reminded of “The Big Lebowski” – the long hair, the laid back style – yet rather than a dedication to bowling, this man is dedicated to producing future tunes.

Q&A 

Blast: Why “Space Jesus”? What inspired you to invent the concept of Space Jesus, grow your hair out, and produce psychedelic bass music?

Space Jesus: I walked into a bar one night and some dude saw my long hair and was like, you look like Jesus from space.

Blast: At what point did you decide to drop whatever you were doing and commit to producing music?

SJ: Probably three or for years ago. I went to college for a bit but that didn’t work out, then I got a job in construction. I make music full time now.

Blast: I really like the track HMU Can you describe the process of creating the song?

SJ: I found this old song from my dad and sampled it. I had trouble at first coming up with the part after the breakdown, but I threw in some live drums.

Blast: What kind of vibe do you generally go for in your live shows?

SJ: A fun one.

Blast: Are there any artists that you would really like to collaborate with?

SJ: Yeah there are a ton – Bassnectar, Excision. Dillon Francis is pretty great.

Blast: You recently worked with #$ on their debut album – How has this experience affected you as a producer?

SJ: I’ve been hanging out with GDP for awhile, and I’ve always been into hip-hop beats and instrumentals.

Blast: How do you create and process your sounds? Which DAW do you prefer? Do you have specific plugins or synths that you like to use?

SJ: I use Ableton. The sound in HMU is mostly massive, I think I used some sylenth in there. I try to make a lot of my sounds from scratch so my sounds are original.

Blast: How do you master your tracks? I know a lot of producers prefer to master on their own these days, but some still hand off their music to the engineers before it gets released.

SJ: I have this engineer I’ve been working with for awhile now and he’s great.

At the end of the interview, Space Jesus offered advice for aspiring producers: “Just get your music out there”.

I think this guy has everything down. The look, the attitude, the music. I can see him blowing up in the next year or so, so stay tuned for more from SPACE JESUS.

Check him out on soundcloud.

SPACE JESUS

 

 

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Debunked: Video Games Don’t Make People More Violent http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/debunked-video-games-dont-make-people-violent/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/gaming-news/debunked-video-games-dont-make-people-violent/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:39:18 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93056 Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, a psychiatrist named Thomas Radecki served as president of the National Coalition on Television Violence. He preached about the evils of games like Dungeons & Dragons and television shows like “Ren and Stimpy.” He continued until 1992, offering expert testimony at court trials and blaming D&D when teenagers committed violent(...)

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Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, a psychiatrist named Thomas Radecki served as president of the National Coalition on Television Violence. He preached about the evils of games like Dungeons & Dragons and television shows like “Ren and Stimpy.”

He continued until 1992, offering expert testimony at court trials and blaming D&D when teenagers committed violent crimes. “There is no doubt in my mind that the game Dungeons & Dragons is causing young men to kill themselves and others,” Radecki stated in a press release.

Radecki’s reign lasted until 1992, when he was stripped of his psychiatry license by the State of Illinois after committing unspecified misconduct with a patient. He became licensed in Pennsylvania but voluntarily surrendered his license after continued misconduct. In August 2013, Radecki was arrested for trading opioid addiction treatment drug prescriptions to patients in exchange for sex.

Despite his shredded reputation, Radecki’s misinformed opinions about the evils of television, role-playing and video games still cling to the brains of many parents, politicians and policymakers. Legitimate research has completely debunked Radecki’s assertions, specifically about video game violence.

Youth Violence Has Declined Since Video Games Were Invented

In 2007, after the Virginia Tech shootings, scores of scholars and public figures like Dr. Phil bemoaned the effects of violent video games. Fox News publicized interviews with Jack Thompson, an attorney and violent video game opponent who was later disbarred, claiming that the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, played “Counter-strike.” Thompson’s claims were later proven false. No video games were found among Cho’s possessions.

Many researchers and people in MSCMHC programs (visit this page to learn about careers in mental health counseling) have discredited claims that video games cause violent behavior. Texas A&M International University assistant professor Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson has performed extensive research on video games and youth violence. He also once served as editor of an American Psychological Association special issue on video games.

“I find no evidence that video games or television contribute to youth violence, dating violence, bullying or adult arrests,” Ferguson wrote in a blog post for the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Youth violence has declined to 40-year lows during the video-game epoch.”

What Research Has to Say

Henry Jenkins, director of comparative studies at MIT, also challenges the myth that video games cause violent behavior. In an article written for PBS, Jenkins makes a few key points:

  • Video games haven’t been shown to cause desensitization to violence. Play fighting enters what Eric Zimmerman, a game designer and play theorist, calls “the magic circle.” If a child responded to video games the same way he or she responded to a real tragedy, then the child would actually exhibit evidence of emotional disturbance.
  • Video game play doesn’t isolate people socially. According to Jenkins, 25 percent of gamers play video games with a spouse or a parent. Additionally, 33 percent play with a sibling, and 60 percent play with friends.
  • Video games can enhance learning. The process of playing games causes kids to constantly form and test hypotheses. Instead of seeing mistakes as errors, they learn to try again and to form new solutions.
  • Kids aren’t the biggest players of video games. At the time Jenkins wrote his article, 66 percent of computer game players are over 18, as are 62 percent of console game players. Video games are never mentioned in connection with adults who commit violent crime despite evidence showing that adults play the most video games.
  • The majority of kids who play video games do not commit violent acts. Over time, researchers have found that people serving sentences for violent crime actually consume less media than the general population.A 2001 U.S. Surgeon General’s report found that mental instability and quality of home life are the biggest predictors of future violent behavior.

Final Thoughts

Instead of answering difficult questions about why violence happens, many people prefer to blame it on violent television shows and video games. In truth, parents who worry about their kids’ video game play should worry less about whether games make kids violent and more about whether games are impacting family time and school performance. In many cases, video games enhance learning and help students to cope with stress. Instead of taking away the game controller, maybe parents should play along.

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Review – Oddworld: New n’ Tasty http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/review-oddworld-new-n-tasty/ http://blastmagazine.com/gaming/reviews/review-oddworld-new-n-tasty/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:02:10 +0000 http://blastmagazine.com/?p=93024 More than just a re-release, Oddworld: New ’n Tasty is a complete reimagining of the original Abe’s Odyssey and the result is the absolute best version of the game to date. Long time fans of the series will appreciate the love given to the aging formula while those new to Oddworld get the game we imagined we would so long ago. Some of the controls have been changed, and not for the better but don’t let that stop you — those new to the series and those who have experienced the game before should check out this love letter to the Oddworld series.

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I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the original Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey. You see, there was a time during high school where I stopped playing video games altogether. That is until I got an original Xbox as a gift and Abe’s journey came along with it. I poured hours into that game and have frequent memories of saving the Mudokons from the grinders, and yes…virtually farting away. Now, almost 20-years later the game is getting the HD treatment, though be warned, labeling it a simple re-release would be cutting it short. More of a complete re-imagining, Abe’s Odyssey has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and the result is the absolute best version of the game released to date. Some of the controls have been questionably changed, which leads to frustration in some of the puzzles that require precise controls but don’t let that sway you — fans of the original and those who may have been too young to experience the game the first go-round should jump right in.

Developed by: Oddworld Inhabitants
Published by:
Sony
Genre:
Adventure
Platform:
PS4, PS3, PC, PS Vita
What works:
Fun gameplay| completely remade worlds are gorgeous| new difficulty levels
What doesn’t work:
New control scheme can be frustrating|
3.5 out of 5 stars

For the uninitiated, New n’ Tasty tells the story of Abe, a Mudokon who works at Rupture farms as a janitor. He thinks he has a great job but that all changes when he discovers that the company’s newest snack is made up of his own people. The majority of the game has you trying to escape the Rupture Farms compound, bringing as many Mudokons with you as possible. It’s a dark but yet light hearted adventure that’s incredibly imaginative and unique. The world of Oddworld and Rupture farms is incredibly fleshed out and fun (if not even a bit depressing) to explore, even more so in this new version.
Calling New n’ Tasty just another simple re-release would be cutting the efforts of the developers incredibly short; this is a completely rebuilt Oddworld. Everything from the backgrounds to the character models has been completely rebuilt from the ground up, resulting in a mostly incredibly looking game. Though some of the smaller background details seem to have not made the jump to HD yet, but the majority of the world looks fantastic. Gone are the one screen environments of the original in favor of large, sweeping and continuous worlds that really give Rupture Farms a sense of being and depth. They say hindsight is twenty-twenty and though I know this isn;t the Oddworld I ever got, it’s the Oddworld I somehow always imagined.

Most of the gameplay feels untouched from the original release and everything from the humor to the stealth gameplay and yes, the difficulty is still here. Throughout the majority of the game you’ll be trying to outwit your enemies by creating distractions and sneaking past them using clever traps rather than facing them head on. There’s a great mix of puzzle and platforming elements that’ll usually keep you thinking throughout the majority of the experience. The original Abe’s Odyssey was known for it’s difficulty, mainly with Abe dying after one hit but new difficulty levels make the game much more accessible for the new era of gamers that didn’t get a chance to experience the original release. Don’t worry old guys like me, you can still turn the difficulty way up to get the original Oddworld experience.

For some reason though, the developers have chosen to change a small, yet important part of the original game’s controls for this new HD era. In the original game you could controls Abe’s speed by using the shoulder buttons and while you cans till sneak with the same method, running is now controlled directly by the thumbstick. Like most 3D action games, you’ll tilt the thumbstick just a bit to have Abe walk normal and tilt it further to have him run. It seems like a small change but it makes a huge difference, especially in some of the bigger platforming sections. Often Abe’s fate is determined by mere inches and it’s incredibly frustrating to have to try a section over just because the thumbstick was pushed just a bit too much. Thankfully this new re-release has a pretty generous quick save feature so if you remember to use it, you shouldn’t be put too far back.

More than just a re-release, Oddworld: New ’n Tasty is a complete reimagining of the original Abe’s Odyssey and the result is the absolute best version of the game to date. Long time fans of the series will appreciate the love given to the aging formula while those new to Oddworld get the game we imagined we would so long ago. Some of the controls have been changed, and not for the better but don’t let that stop you — those new to the series and those who have experienced the game before should check out this love letter to the Oddworld series.

This review was based on an early review code provided by the developer. It was played on the PS4 on the normal difficulty.

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