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.


PHOTO GALLERY: Coheed and Cambria at Welcome to Rockville 2017

COHEED AND CAMBRIA live at Welcome to Rockville 2017 in Jacksonville, FL. Photography by Rei Haycraft for Fuel the Scene Magazine and W4CY Radio.

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


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


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.


Rei: We’re here at Welcome to Rockville, with The Charm The Fury. Can you all introduce yourselves and what you paly for our viewers back home?

Lucas: Of course. Hi. I’m Lucas. I’m the bass player of the band.

Martijn: I’m Marty. I play guitar.

Rei: And these guys came from Amsterdam in The Netherlands. This is your first U.S. festival tour, correct?

Lucas: It is, yeah. This was our proper first U.S. show actually, yeah. We did some in L.A., but that was for business people, so that wasn’t really a show.

Rei: This is the first with a real crowd and seeing the crowd participation.

Lucas: Exactly. Which was great.

Martijn: Absolutely.

Rei: I was in the pit. I was right up there. And I’ve had Echoes stuck in my head since. So, thank you for that.

Martijn: That’s exactly what should happen.

Lucas: Someone broke his knee during our show.

Rei: Are you serious?

Martijn: Yeah, oh my God, yeah.

Lucas: Maybe you did it.

Rei: No, I didn’t do it. I had nothing to do with any of it.

So, for this being your first, I guess, reception into this scene for this record, what has the reception been like?

Lucas: It’s been great. Well, some mixed reaction because it’s really different to our previous work. It used to be proper metal core. And nowadays I think we’re just a metal band. We were influenced by bands like Pantera, Metallica, Slipknot—like the huge bands that are still around. And we try to mingle that with our own sound and just create a new sound for ourselves.

Rei: I think you did a great job of doing that. We’ve been spinning your new album pretty nonstop since we got it.

Lucas: All right!

Martijn: All right.

Rei: I think it’s fantastic. And I love the dynamics of it. So, the range. And I think that’s what you’re talking about, like it’s not sticking just to metal core. It’s like a spectrum of metal.

Martijn: Oh, wow. That’s a good way to describe it.

Lucas: A spectrum of metal. Yeah, we just wanted to celebrate metal.

Martijn: Yeah, that’s what it is.

Lucas: That’s what we wanted to do with it exactly.

Rei: And it’s very anthemic, so some people are calling it an angry record. What would you say to that?

Lucas: Well, I think it’s angrier than our previous one. But we’re not angry people. So, as you maybe could tell-

Rei: You could tell that. You look so happy on stage.

Lucas: Yeah. Well yeah, it’s metal music, so it obviously is angry in it. So the subjects we cover are not so positive, obviously. But I think there’s some anthemic stuff, some sing-along stuff. So yeah, it’s not at all totally angry record.

Martijn: It’s always a good thing to channel your frustration and anger in music. Well, you get to be happy afterwards, so that’s what we do.

Rei: Can you talk a little bit about the back story behind Echoes? I know it’s a little bit politically charges and you did it in response to …

Lucas: Well, it’s actually the way media takes its part in our whole lives, like the way the media breaks news, that’s just how people will see it. They can’t see it for themselves, so they have to rely on media to bring the news to them. But that news is, most of the time, so biased. So yeah, you can watch Fox News, or you can watch some other channel, and the channels will be totally different.

Rei: Yeah, absolutely. Tell me a little bit about the music videos. The three that I’ve seen are completely different, and I’m a huge film nerd so I love it.

Lucas: Oh, you are?

Rei: I love it. I think Down on the Ropes was … I’m still a little disturbed by the bugs, that was a little cringy. So, what was that experience like filming those?

Martijn: Down on the Ropes was the coldest day of the year in Ireland. We started outside, and the day was like … We had a shooting day of like 20 hours. So we were completely frozen. So, to us personally, that was hard core. But it was really cool working with that team because we really wanna make something of a movie type of vibe with it.

Lucas: Yeah, like a bad ’80s movie. That was the vibe we were going for. And I think we pulled that off, I hope. But that day was the worst.

Martijn: Yeah, the worst.

Lucas: We were at a scrapyard, and we had actually 20 people participating in the video. But there were no heated rooms at all. And we had to stand there in the cold.

Rei: That doesn’t come across at all. It doesn’t look uncomfortable.

Lucas: Well, it was.

Martijn: It really was. It was really bad.

Rei: You’re great actors. You’re good. You’re great at it.

Lucas: Well thank you.

Martijn: Thanks.

Rei: And so, what about the other ones? They have very different feels, each of the videos.

Lucas: The other two videos are shot by the same guy and we work with them a lot. Yeah, I think our last video was Blood and Salt. And we actually had three days to figure that video out.

Rei: Oh yeah?

Lucas: We were shooting in three days. We need ideas right now. And we had to do everything in three days.

Martijn: [The director] is really good. He definitely saved our ass there.

Lucas: And the other video for Echoes, he actually isn’t in it. He wasn’t in the band back then. We just had one guitar player. So we shot that video almost three years ago. And we didn’t release it for years because the record wasn’t done yet. So we had to wait, and it was a bit awkward because there’s a guitar player short. But I think no one actually noticed.

Martijn: Only very few people did. I kind of like it. I was like, “Yeah, this is how important my role in the band is. Thank you so much. It’s all right.”

Rei:  We have the technology, we can superimpose you in there now. There we go.

Martijn: Let’s not do that.

Rei: What do you hope that listeners take away from your album?

Lucas: I mostly hope they will just enjoy it. I don’t think … We have some kind of message, but it’s not the most important that people will get it or something. I hope that they will mainly enjoy the music. And if they get the message, if we plant some ideas in their head that’s great. But it’s not our goal or something.

Martijn: No. There are definitely some political and personal issues on the lyrical end of it, but this record is all about just a celebration for metal and enjoying a metal record, and trying to create a record that you can listen over and over again for years to come. That was the idea.

Rei: Well, mission accomplished because even on the way here we listened to the album at least three or four times, discovering something new each time. Caroline’s vocal prowess is unmatched, it’s amazing.

Lucas: Really? That’s great. Actually, I think anyone can do that with the right training and everything like that. Even every women can scream like that.

Martijn: Yeah, absolutely.

Rei: I can do it for little bits, but not nearly as long.

Lucas: Yeah, she still has vocal lessons and stuff like that. So, she needs to keep it up as well. But I think everyone could do it if they try hard enough.

Martijn: But it’s hard work. And she definitely put a lot of effort into practice—every day, every morning, every night. We get to hear them every day.

Lucas: That’s so annoying. Before the show, after the show, before she goes to sleep, after she wakes up.

Martijn: Immediately when she wakes up. Jesus.

Rei: It’s a good habit to get into.

Martijn: Absolutely.

Lucas: It is.

Martijn: I encourage it. Do it.

Rei: Based on the subject matter that you all cover, what do you think that the social media of today’s day in age, the effect that it has on bands? How do you feel it affects the music?

Lucas: A lot. It’s just your main door to the world, I think. It used to be selling records and maybe do some side sessions in record stores. And now you just do a post on Facebook and you’ll reach thousands of people, and they can share it and it can go viral. So, I think social media is a great outlet for bands. But it’s also hard to get your face out there because everyone does it, obviously. And the Facebook feed gets full very fast. No one will scroll down to find you. So to get out there you need to pay for advertisements. That sucks, but yeah, you need to do it.

Rei: Since you talk so much about getting down into the roots of metal, do you feel like technology has any effect on metal at this point?

Lucas: Definitely has. Like recording has become so easy now. Everyone can make a record in his bedroom. You need gear for $100 bucks and you’re ready to go. So yeah, that changed a lot.

Martijn: That in itself is also a challenge for metal, as well, because there are a shit ton more records right now than there were 20 years ago. And I guess it’s always a good thing to have a big team in on your music and people reflecting on it, just getting deeper and deeper into it, putting more energy into it. And, personally, I don’t believe that if you make a record just in your bedroom you’re gonna get that amount of feedback and energy into it as this record has. It’s different quality in that sense, in my opinion.

Lucas: Mainly, I think it’s a good thing we have the technology now to do it.

Martijn: Yeah, absolutely.

Rei: It’s just how you use it.

Lucas: Yeah.

Martijn: Yeah, exactly. That’s the thing.

Rei: All right. Do you have any other words of wisdom for our viewers or something you want them to know about The Charm The Fury?

Lucas: I’m not sure. Wisdom is hard to be found in our band. We mostly are stupid ideas.

Martijn: Yeah, we don’t pretend to have any form of wisdom at all.

Lucas: But drink a lot.

Martijn: Yeah, that’s definitely-

Lucas: That saves your life. It will. Just don’t drive. Drink a lot, that’s great. Don’t vote for Trump anymore please, don’t do it.

Martijn: Yeah, stop doing that.

Lucas: We had to wait in line. The customs line was longer than the actual flight. Now, that’s not true, but it felt like it.

Rei: I apologize on behalf of all Americans, because most of us don’t agree.

Lucas: No, I don’t think anyone that comes to this festival actually agrees.

Martijn: Hardly any, I’d guess.

Lucas: Yeah, hardly any. For so long in Europe we thought, “This has got to be a joke. This guy, this isn’t serious, right.”

Martijn: It’s never gonna happen.

Rei: Don’t worry, we thought so too.

Lucas: Yeah. And now it’s real. It’s so weird. It was the weirdest. I follow your elections. I watched it because it’s important to us as well. And it was like 3:00 at night, and then it was, “Yeah, Trump is winning. He’s winning. Oh, fuck that shit. I’m going to sleep. I don’t want to witness this.” Good job guys, well done.

Rei: Good job, America. But we hope you’ll come back anyway.

Lucas: We will… if we’re allowed to.

Rei: We’ll smuggle you in, don’t worry about it.

Lucas: All right, cool.

Rei: All right. So, thank you again so much for taking the time to talk to us. Have a great rest of your U.S. tour, and we hope that you come back soon.

Lucas: We will.

Martijn: Absolutely.

Lucas: Thank you. Cheers.