Launch Music Conference ft Ice Nine Kills & more!

I feel I’ve earned the title of the “ Ice Nine Kills girl ” in my local concert scene. With their logo tattooed on my arm, my Google Drive full of photos from the last 5 years, and my car full of CDs spanning their entire career, my love for this band has become no secret. So at 10 pm, September 10th, seeing in my inbox, I was approved to shoot another Ice Nine show, I just about cried. 2 years without a concert is just about the worst possible thing for a concert photographer, especially two years without my favorite band playing shows. So I loaded my car, and drove the 3 odd hours to Lancaster, PA for the Launch Music Conference.

A venue of this size is intimidating after not shooting a show for a long time, so making my way to the photo pit was the scariest thing I had done in months. The night kicked off New Jersey natives, Enox.

 It was hard not to bang your head to the punchy guitars, crashing drums, and the vocals full of emotion and frustration. They started the night off with an insane amount of energy, getting the crowd warmed up for what else was to come.

Gladiators took the stage next, offering a vibey, heavy performance. The melodic vocals mixed with the deep and bassy guitars, I was in awe of the somehow soft, but powerful performance. The PA band offered a different vibe to the night, setting them apart from the heavy, angry acts we’d see with them. Speaking to them after their sets, they were overwhelmingly kind, and super supportive of all the artists attending the show. It was heartwarming to see a band connecting with fans after two years of isolation, and I could tell how much it meant to the guys in Gladiators.

Lancaster hometown act Hawk was a band I had never seen, despite following singer/guitarist Ricky Armellino’s music since This Or The Apocalypse. It was exciting to see a band I knew, and being able to scream the words back at them had me smiling their entire set. They offer a simple, yet insanely unique approach to metalcore. Ricky’s vocals pack a punch, complimenting the heavy, beautiful guitar work. I could see the emotion in their performance, the entire band clearly overwhelmed to be performing in front of their hometown. There were familiar faces I had seen at shows, all of them looking at the stage with happiness, excitement, and a proudness you rarely see at shows anymore.

Currents was a band I had seen open for bands before, and I heavily regret not giving them my full attention in years past. The energy was turned up to eleven, crowd surfers hammering the barricade. Currents may seem like a traditional metal band at heart, but their music seems to fill your body, forcing you to start moving. It was a chaotic set to shoot, all of us photographers moving to try and capture the incredible stage presence of the band in front of us. After the shoot, I was beyond excited to hand my camera off to a friend, and jump in the pit myself.

I had seen Ice Nine Kills 10 times before this show. I knew all the songs. I knew all the words. I was expecting a typical, incredible set from them. But this set seemed to move me more than usual. INK isn’t exactly a band with sentimental songs, as horror movies and theatrics have taken a hold on their music. But I felt myself getting choked up watching their set. It had been so long since I saw them, that the tears filled my eyes before I even knew. It’s a bit awkward to have tears pouring down your face while your favorite band sings about slashers and demons, but it wasn’t about the music. It was about all the people I had missed over the pandemic. The friends I made and haven’t seen in years. The ability to use my camera and make more art. Their set was, as usual, outstanding. Spencer works the crowd in a way that no frontman could, the other members of the band adding to the chaos happening in the crowd behind me. The horror behind their music comes to life with chaotic vocals, costumes, and of course their amazing makeup artist, Shevy, dressing up as the final girls from the movies inspiring their songs. They make the movies you love come to life before your eyes. It was so rare to see a band who sounds just as good live as they do on record, their entire performance rivaling any movie you could see. My 15 minutes were up before I knew it, and I made my way into the crowd, and finally let loose. Two years without a moshpit, without friends to headbang with. It was an emotional night. The exhaustion didn’t hit my bones until I finally sat down in my bed. 

This tour is a gift for everyone involved. Fans, bands, crew and security. Everyone missed this. I know I did. I eagerly look forward to seeing Ice Nine Kills on the second leg of this tour. And I can’t wait to see what every single band on this bill has coming for the future.

Review & photography courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

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Sleepsculptor Interview

 

In a genre like metalcore where so many bands fade into the back, patterns often repeating, and a lot of songs falling into a similar sound, how do you make yourself stand out? Sleepsculptor’s answer is to create intense, chaotic music that will leave your jaw on the floor. Of course many bands fall flat by doing too much. Sleepsculptor has done the opposite, taking a huge hold on the scene they’ve become a part of. I talked with Ben Pypiak and Hunter Derr, lead vocalists of Sleepsculptor to ask about what makes the band special. 

What inspired Sleepsculptor and the sound you guys were going for?

Hunter: Definitely bands like the Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, Arsonists Get All The Girls, IWrestledabearonce. We were going for a more mathy approach to metalcore.

Danza was a metalcore giant that had a huge influence on the scene with the same sporadic, chaotic sound Sleepsculptor achieves. The band regularly covers them in their live shows, giving insanely impressive performances of Rudy X 3 and The Alpha The Omega, a song that the TDTE never played live themselves. Their cover of Rudy X 3 can be seen here: https://youtu.be/h8gE8z82Xc

The inspiration coming from bands of the same genre brought me to my next question. 

Is that where you pull inspiration from while writing. Is it solely mathcore/sporadic metalcore based or do you pull inspiration from other genres?

Hunter: I feel like we most definitely pull from a lot of genres. I mainly listen to Captain Murphy and Earl Sweatshirt. Everyone else listens to some pretty niche stuff I’d say.

Do you ever worry about how your music will be received based on how unique it is?

Hunter: Nah not really I feel like we just write what we want to write and if people like it, that’s cool. If not, I don’t really mind because I make music for myself at the end of the day.   Ben: It’s pretty cool to hear that people like what we make anyway. 

Sleepsculptor isn’t for the faint of heart for sure. The live shows feel claustrophobic in the best way possible. The constantly changing guitar, the vocalist’s fast and angry tonal changes. It’s enough to make anyone want to get moving, and their shows certainly deliver. It’s amazing to see them move as a unit, which is difficult for bands so large sometimes. Along with two vocalists, they have two guitarists, Jake Moyer and Kuyler Massam, who offer intensely technical playing along with the classic breakdowns everyone knows and loves. To help with the fast paced performances, James Slattery as drummer, and Travis Antoniello on bass, are both well versed in the metalcore scene, both being in the Wilkes Barre local band Toothless. With so many amazing creative minds, I always wondered who took the reins while writing. 

Is there any difficulty having 6 member’s input while making music?

Hunter: I don’t think so, we’re all generally into the same stuff. It’s easier to get weirder ideas.    Ben: We’re all pretty connected. 

Do you two (Ben and Hunter) ever disagree on where to go vocally/lyrically or does it work best when you bounce your ideas off of each other?

Hunter: Not that I can think of, we’ll usually write in chunks and then go back and dissect/ split parts up.  Ben: Not really, sometimes we swap lyrics.  

Their first album, Untimening, was well received, but their most recent album, Entry: Dispersal, was beyond unique. 

Entry: Dispersal was different than Untimening, do you plan on leaning towards more of a drastic change with your next release?

Ben: We all decided to get pretty experimental, but not straying too far. 

Hunter: It’s definitely gonna be a lot weirder than anything we’ve released yet. 

Weird has turned out to be an amazing thing for Sleepsculptor. The band constantly works and writes, which explains why in seemingly less than 2 years, they have grown into a force to be reckoned with in the Pennsylvania metalcore scene. Entry: Dispersal was a fantastic album in every sense of the word, every song having the same vibe, but every one felt insanely unique. Every piece of music released by Sleepsculptor has its own personality and own breath of life, making them an absolute joy to listen to. It’s exciting to support them, and I cannot wait to see what they do in the future. 

Follow them on Instagram , you can listen to & buy their music on ITunes, Bandcamp, Spotify, and other streaming services

Interview + Photos courtesy of  Emily Sulkowski  –Instagram| Twitter

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Diseased & Disguised Tour 2020 | Photos + Review

Metalcore is a genre that never seems to go away, and that’s a good thing. When two giants of the scene, Beartooth and Motionless in White, announced their co-headlining tour, everyone knew we were in for a treat. With Limbs and Stick To Your Guns as support, this tour set the tone for the rest of 2020. 

Limbs was a band I had never heard of, but I was pleasantly surprised. They brought an energy no one in the crowd expected so early in the night. I’m used to watching openers have a few courtesy head bangs and nothing outside of it. The pit soon opened and the night began. With only one album, a few EPs and singles in their discography, you’d never expect a band to pack such a punch. 

Stick To Your Guns made their mark in the scene years ago, but something about them is always refreshing. Hardcore is a genre on a steady resurgence, and it’s easy to understand why. The set contained mostly classics such as “ Amber “ to spark memories in the crowd. The anger was obvious, but the band always has a way of bringing everyone in a room together. 

I can never stop suggesting Beartooth to anyone. Caleb Shomo has a voice that fills you with every emotion you could feel. The production of orange lights and fog created a vibe that made you want to move. Crowdsurfers made my job as a photographer difficult, but even my fellow photographers in the photo pit couldn’t help but bang their heads. Classic metal riffs with the anger and punch of a new hardcore band, Beartooth is a treat every single time. 

Few bands can pack a punch for over a decade. Motionless in White have the honor of being within those select few. The ambiance before they even walked on stage was enough to send shocks through the crowd. The spooky purple and blue lighting, strobes, and the skeletons on the stage, the band was sure to come out with a bang. Motionless mixes old songs with new, but the crowd knew the words to everything. Frontman Chris Motionless works the crowd into an angry and violent pit every single time, yet expresses his love and appreciation the entire time. With heavy hitters like Devils Night and Abigail, the crowd had plenty of energy to burn before the softer side of things came out towards the end with Another Life and Eternally Yours. The entire show was a mix of beauty, chaos, and spooky vibes. 

The Diseased and Disguised tour was an incredible start to the 2020 metal-core tour season. No mixed genres were needed to carry this tour around different fan bases. Solid, to the point heavy music was all it took to sell out shows, and created what I can say is one of the best shows I’ve been too.

Photos + review courtesy of Emily Sulkowski

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Cedar Green – Loud Fest 2016

Cedar Green, 5 piece alternative rock band from PA.

10/15/16 Loud Fest Day 1 | Game Changer World

Photos by : C.Trimarco

 The Camera Affect Promotions | Instagram  | Twitter | Youtube

The All Grown Up Tour starts on 9/23 | Who’s going to a show ?

TTYN TOUR

The All Grown Up Tour w/

Talk To You Never | Flight Plan

We’d like to wish our pals safe travels, fun & successful shows.

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Rivers Monroe | Vans Warped Tour 2015

Rivers Monroe | July 11th, 2015 | Wantagh Long Island | Jones Beach Theater

The Camera Affect Promotions | Instagram  | Twitter | Youtube

Photography by Christine Trimarco 

Life on the Sideline & GOTTEM East Coast Tour

Life on the Sideline & GOTTEM East Coast Tour

Life on the Sideline : https://www.facebook.com/LifeOnTheSideline
GOTTEM : https://www.facebook.com/gottemny

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Geo Martinez, Brandon Eaton, TJ Hess and Dakota Valerio of Erie, Pennsylvania together form The Masquerade.

The Masquerade just released their debut EP “Home Is Where You Make It”
The tracklisting goes as followed :
1. The Weekend
2. Best Day Of My Life
3. Back Up Plan
4. Set Your Mind To It
5. All My Life

While listening to the EP straight through the first time ever hearing it, I immediately started dancing along in my computer chair. I definitely see this EP pumping up crowd filled venues. Although the band only formed in 2013 I see 2014 as their year. Whether it be opening for bigger acts or small tours. “All My Life ” has to be my favorite track, but the EP as a whole is the perfect dose of PA Pop Punk. By the looks of things the band is developing a rapidly growing fan base, keep up the good work.

Christine Trimarco

The Masquerade :
https://www.facebook.com/themasqueradePA
https://twitter.com/themasqueradepa

The Camera Affect Promotions :
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http://www.youtube.com/thecameraaffect
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June Divided live @ Vans Warped Tour : Uniondale; NY 7/21

Sandlot Heroes – All In All (Official Video)

ALL IN ALL by SANDLOT HEROES.
(http://www.facebook.com/sandlotheroes)
www.sandlotheroes.com
Filmed by John Deas.