Welcome To Rockville 2017 Recap

The World’s Loudest Month kicked off in spectacular fashion on April 29th and 30th with the Welcome to Rockville Festival in Jacksonville, Florida and their sister festival Fort Rock in Fort Myers, FL, boasting a record-breaking weekend with over 75,000 music fans over the two sites. Fuel The Scene Magazine was on-site a Welcome to Rockville, conducting interviews, photographing the bands, and generally enjoying the perfect rock atmosphere created by the festival.

Saturday started off with a running, headbanging start with Badflower, Al That Remains, and Dutch metal band The Charm The Fury. The European influence was abundant all day, including Sweden’s In Flames, England’s Dinosaur Pile-Up and Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes.

The energy didn’t wane as the day went on, the energetic crowd headbanging, moshing, crowd-surfing to The Pretty Reckless, Coheed And Cambria, Mastodon, Pierce The Veil, and some classic punk rock goodness with The Offspring.

As the sun went down and the temperatures dropped, A Perfect Circle took the stage in a mysterious and disappointingly dark show. For the entirety of their set, A Perfect Circle kept the lights down, putting Maynard on a small riser at the back of the stage and keeping the rest of the members enshrouded by shadows and fog. This choice may have worked well for a headlining tour, but for a festival crowd that struggled to see from a distance, the set was a let down that was neither outstanding visually or sonically.

In stark contrast, Soundgarden brought the day to a perfect close with a 13 song set that was full of color, emotion, energy, and showcased Cornell’s immortal, iconic voice. The crowd was utterly spellbound from the opening notes of “Spoonman” to the fade out of “Beyond the Wheel.”

On Sunday, Queens, New York based Sylar and Austin, Texas’ Fire from the Gods opened the show with their rap infused metal. But this day belonged to dynamic lead vocalists, as Jonny Hawkins of Nothing More, Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons, and Chris Cerulli of Motionless in White engorged the crowd with their dynamic ranges and each one left the stage drained of every ounce of energy.

In This Moment and Motionless In White put on incredibly detailed, theatric performances of non-stop energy, fake blood, and costume changes. Chris Motionless was in perfect vocal form, never missing a beat despite the intense movement, stage antics, and heat.

Both Of Mice and Men and Three Days Grace showcased new vocalists (Aaron Pauley and Matt Waist, respectively) and showed the crowd that they were stronger, tighter, and more badass than ever.

Chevelle and Def Leppard closed out the weekend—overlapping a little too much for some fans’ liking, as Def Leppard started 10 minutes ahead of schedule, causing fans to swarm from one stage to the other. Def Leppard put on a hell of a show featuring 15 songs from across their entire catalog of hits.

In addition to the eclectic mix of new and old rock and metal, fans were treated to gourmet food and ice cold beverages compliments of Jack Daniels, Monster Energy, Bud Light and an impressive array of local and national food trucks. Beyond the concerts and food options, fans also had the opportunity to meet some of their music heroes and snag a coveted autograph at The Music Experience and FYE tents. Welcome to Rockville was the perfect start to one of the best Loudest Month lineups and will definitely bring us back in the coming years.

Interview with Barry Stock of THREE DAYS GRACE at Welcome to Rockville 2017

We got a chance to catch up with Barry Stock, guitarist of THREE DAYS GRACE, before their set at Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, FL about recording their next album, the writing process, and being “married” to songs that don’t make the cut. Watch the full video interview here or read excerpts from the transcription below.

FTS: How’s your festival been thus far?

Barry: It’s good I’m just trying to stay out of the sun and stay cool as best I can. … We’re from Canada, so we haven’t gotten used to the weather yet. We’re just starting out on some shows so we’re still trying to adapt ourselves. [laughs]

FTS: What do you think is the largest issue facing musicians starting out today?

Barry: I think it’s a tougher go than it used to be. You know, there’s not quite as much support for some of these bands as there used to be. You know, in the old days, they used to develop a lot more bands. I find today, the ones I know, the younger ones, they have to work a lot harder get their stuff out there. Obviously, with social media that helps a lot, I know that’s a big deal for them. I just think that out of the gates there’s not as much help for these young bands and it makes it a real tough go.

FTS: Do you think that social media and technology today is a help or a hindrance? 

Barry: I think if you’re a new band it’s a good thing, it’s like a tool to reach out to a lot of people. If you’re creative, like some people are, I see some extremely creative people on social media and when they use it right and everything, I see a benefit for them. Without it, I don’t know how they’d get exposure otherwise. I personally think it’s a good thing, I mean, I don’t do much social media myself, but I think it’s a great thing, especially for the younger bands… it gives them an opportunity.

FTS: With a catalog as vast as yours, what does your set for these festivals look like?

We have a lot of singles. So for us, you want people singing.  And we’re playing a lot shorter sets [at festivals] because there’s so many bands, so it’s not like our full show where we can play a bunch of neat B-sides. But for these shorter sets, we’ll usually stick to the hits we have.

FTS: What would you say is the hardest part about being on tour?

Barry: I think just the lack of sleep, maybe? We try to keep up on it as much as we can. You know, the traveling part of it. It’s hard living out of a suitcase, on planes and buses. It wears you out a little bit, but I can’t complain. Over the last year we took some time off, which has been really nice ’cause you know the last three years especially we were super busy. Since September last year, we took time off, we’ve been writing the new record, working over the winter, so everyone got some great family time.

We just have a few summer festivals, we go to Europe and Moscow, I think we go to Russia for a show with System of a Down, and as soon as we get back, we’ll go into the studio to work on the new record. So we’re hoping sometime in the fall to release that.

FTS: Are there any plans so far for singles, future music videos, other media to be released with that album?

Barry: Usually by the time we start recording is when we start piecing it all together. Like we don’t even have an album title yet! That’ll all sort of come as we start to record, and start figuring out the artwork and all of that. And so we’ll get really busy once we start doing that, then we’ll start thinking about videos and all that kind of stuff.

FTS: Are the songs usually finished when you take them into the studio to record?

Barry: You know, we all do demos and stuff—the problem with doing demos is that sometimes you get a little bit married to it. And it ends up changing sometimes. I’ve had some things that I really liked that end up getting totally changed—that’s just the way it is. It’s never really “finished” until it’s finished. Once it’s done and we put the stamp on it.

FTS: Have you ever had a favorite song that didn’t make the cut for an album?

Barry: Yeah, actually—absolutely. On the last record, we had a song that was one of my favorites and our management—you know, Cliff Burnstein—we trust him with our music a lot and we would send him stuff and he’d write little notes on it as he hears stuff. And he wrote “DNP” on the song—that means “DO NOT PURSUE,” right— [laughs]

FTS: Oh, man, stabbed right in the heart. [laughs] Do you ever return to old material?

Barry: Yeah, we do that all the time. Through our whole writing career, that happens. When we first start writing and we don’t have a lot of fresh stuff yet, we’ll always pull out some old stuff. Sometimes it doesn’t work and we’re trying to write it again five times and we’re like, “oh, that’s why we didn’t use it last time.” [laughs]

Having said that, there’s definitely some songs that made it on an album much later—beore it just wasn’t the time, I guess, but it became totally fitting for this time. And this is gonna happen on this [upcoming] record too; there’s a couple of them that we have from the last record, we re-wrote them, and they’re going to make it on this record—so that’s kinda neat.

FTS: Do you have any words of wisdom for our viewers back home?

Barry: Words of wisdom? [laughs] Keep your head up, stick on the ice!

Interview with BEARTOOTH at Welcome to Rockville 2017

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Fuel the Scene Magazine’s Rei Haycraft got a (brief) chance to hang out with Caleb Shomo of BEARTOOTH shortly following their set at Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, FL.  As they were already running late, we were told to keep our interview to “under three minutes,” so we tried to hit the highlights with some puns for good measure!

 

BEARTOOTH will continue to tour throughout the summer and the deluxe edition of their sophomore album Aggressive will be out on May 26. The album’s reissue will feature six additional tracks as well as a live DVD. All of the new songs are renditions of tracks from Aggressive—two of the songs are acoustic versions and the other four are live recordings. Preorders are available now on the band’s website.

Interview with THE CHARM THE FURY at Welcome to Rockville 2017

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Fuel the Scene Magazine’s Rei Haycraft got a chance to hang out with Lucas Arnoldussen (Bass) and Martijn Slegtenhorst (Guitars) of Amsterdam’s THE CHARM THE FURY after their set at Monster Energy’s Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville, FL, the first of the band’s three US festival appearances to chat about the band, their new album, “The Sick, Dumb & Happy,” the inspiration behind their writing, and their thoughts on the current state of the world.

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