Interview: Corey James of Carbonstone

Carbonstone is a multi-faceted metal band hailing from Baltimore, Maryland. Having existed in various forms since 2005, Carbonstone blazed back onto the scene in 2021 with the release of Dark Matter and has been unleashing their creative energies almost nonstop ever since.

After a random hopeful post stating that I would love to interview the band, vocalist/guitarist Corey James was all in, encouraging me when I teetered on the edge of giving in to my nerves. This led to an enjoyable conversation about Corey’s start in music, the formation of Carbonstone, and what the band has in store for their fans in 2023, including their big show March 25th at Power Plant Live in Baltimore!


First and foremost, thank you so much for talking with me – and for volunteering to do this at all. I guess I’ll start with something generic. What made you want to pursue a career in music? Was there any artist or band that specifically made you think “I wanna do that”? 

Corey James: So, long story short, I grew up a military brat. My family and I were always on the road to keep up with base relocating. My mother always had several cassette tapes on repeat during those long drives. One of those was “Voodoo Lounge” by The Rolling Stones. That’s really where I got my first taste of Rock music as a child. (We actually have a full studio cover/remake version of “Paint It Black” out there in the internet music streaming pool!) My mother was also really heavy into Sci-Fi cons during my earlier years and would always bring my brothers and me along to them. She would dress us up in costumes and enter us into giant masquerade contests at the cons. Being 8 years old up on a stage in front of bright shining lights and several hundreds of people cheering was an incredible experience. I was instantly hooked by the feeling.

Fast forward several years…I found the band Korn.  That was a completely life-changing moment for me. I was truly bitten by the music bug and knew that I had to pursue it! I already had a love for performing, so having an intense love for music alongside that only felt right. I saved up my allowance and bought my very first guitar a few weeks later!! I’ll always remember that summer! I couldn’t put the thing down!

So that kind of answers my next question, to an extent. Besides Korn, who are your other major influences? 

CJ: There’s so many, haha! I was pretty damn obsessed with the band Orgy in my high school years. Those dudes could do no wrong! I also listened to a lot of NIN back then as well. I suppose I’ve always been drawn to artists that weren’t/aren’t afraid to do things differently when it comes to their sound. A completely off the wall artist that I listen to religiously is Ghostemane. That guy is just insanely talented!! 

I loved Orgy. I still wanna see them, even though I think Jay is the only original member left. For my own curiosity, what was the first song you learned on guitar?

CJ: The very first song that I ever learned to play on guitar was actually “Come As You Are” by Nirvana!! Easy peasy.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

CJ: Oddly enough, I would have to say Ghostemane, and that’s for several reasons! Again, his sound is just so fucking wild. I really feel that we would come up with some really crazy sounds on a collab together!! 

I think there would definitely be a shared adventurous spirit there. So, in regard to the band, how and when was Carbonstone formed? 

CJ: I formed the band waaaay back in 2005 originally under the name “Unspoken”.   Similarly like Jay and Orgy, I am the only original founding member still around. 

Where did the name Carbonstone come from?

CJ: So long story short…Alcohol. Haha!! Our new name was originally supposed to be “Carved In Stone” but when you say that out loud with 12 or so beers in your system, it slurs out as “Carbonstone” !! I had a large party many moons ago and told a friend our new band name while inebriated. He repeated back to me “Carbonstone? That’s the new band name??”…..And the rest was history! 

📷 Chrystal James

Well, you know what they say: no great story ever started with a glass of milk. Haha! Or down here in the South, every great story starts with “hold my beer.” 

So, y’all released Dark Matter in 2021. Can you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process for that album? Or just your songwriting approach in general?

CJ: A song usually starts with just myself and a guitar. I’ll mess around with writing a ton of riffs until one speaks to me. Once that happens I’ll start to really flesh out the song (structure/vocal melodies). That can take as much as a few hours or up to a few days/weeks, depending on how inspired I am. “Scream” was literally written in a few hours! (The holidays are always a GREAT time for me to write, haha!!) Once I feel that I have a solid song, Neely [songwriter/guitarist] will then add a bit of his leads into it before we demo the song in its entirety.  After the demo is completely done, I’ll listen to it about a billion times, picking it apart, making notes and finalizing lyrics. Eventually we bring the song into Tony’s (synth player/producer) studio, where we then shred it to complete pieces and begin rebuilding and recording it from the ground up. This is where all the extra polish and synths make their way in! Fast forward roughly 13-15 hours at Tony’s and the song is finally complete!! It’s a TON of work, but we all love doing it!!

Speaking of “Scream,” what’s the story behind that song? (It’s actually the first original I ever heard by y’all, followed by “Pins & Needles.”)

CJ: Ah, awesome!! Those are two very different songs for a new listener to be introduced to us by!! Yeah, so as I mentioned, “Scream” was just one of those songs that practically wrote itself. We had literally just dropped our new album (Dark Matter) at the end of October 2021 and I was messing around with the guitar one evening. It literally just happened and then our usual songwriting/recording process took place. I remember all of us laughing in the studio about how it totally should have been on the album!! Haha!! The song is pretty much an anti-hater anthem. I wrote the lyrics around the idea of someone out there constantly bashing/belittling you to the point of snapping.  It’s just a big giant fuck-you song to anything/anyone in your life that attempts to drag you down! 

With “Scream” being a non-album single upon its release, can we expect it on an album in the future? Like…2023?

CJ: Oh, for sure!! “Scream” will absolutely be included on our next body of work! We’re still working on the next album as of now, but we have some really killer plans to release something brand new VERY soon!!

What is next for Carbonstone? I know there’s a tour in the works, and y’all are hitting the studio in February, right? 

CJ: Ahh, yes! We definitely have some really big surprises in store for 2023!! One of which is indeed a “little trek” down south! We also just announced two separate festival appearances (Maryland Day Festival, 3/25 in Baltimore, MD, and Rock On The Hill Music Festival, 5/13 in Hanover, PA.) 

And yep, that’s correct!! We will be entering the studio in mid-February to begin recording some new material! It’s been a bit since we’ve released anything, so I’m definitely chomping at the bit!

So with that tour coming up, tell me (and the other misfortunates who haven’t seen y’all) – what’s a live Carbonstone performance like?

CJ: Ordered and structured chaos, haha!! On top of writing and recording, everyone’s schedules are so crazy that we all literally have to bounce dates/times back and forth just to book rehearsals.  When we finally do get up on a stage and perform, everyone kind of just gets into their own personal zone and just cues off of everyone else’s energy. We also always have our nightmare bear “Frankie” up there with us getting the crowd hyped up! He’s a huge fan favorite! It’s a really wild time because no show we play is identical to the last! 

You’re making me really hope for an Alabama show! And here’s another fun question that ties in: what would be your dream tour lineup that includes Carbonstone? 

CJ: Hmmm, a dream tour lineup… That’s actually a tough question. I think I would have to say Korn, Static-X, Orgy, and us as the opener. A whole bunch of Nu Metal nostalgia! That would just be absolutely INSANE!!

That would be a phenomenal lineup! Okay, I have two more questions for you. Is there anything you want to say to your fans, new and old?

CJ: To all of our beautiful and amazing fans, Thank YOU!! We literally can’t do any of this without you!! You all make the hardships and battles of being an artist so truly worth it!! ❤️

And last but not least, where all can my readers get their hands on Carbonstone’s music?

CJ: You can find our music in all of the usual places! Pandora, Apple Music, Spotify etc..We’re literally everywhere!! Thank you again!! 


And that’s a wrap! Y’all make sure to follow Carbonstone’s various socials and watch for updates (particularly those Southern tour dates; I tried to weasel details out of Corey, but mum’s the word right now).

Listen to my personal favorites here:

Can’t leave out a Deftones cover!

Interview: Brett Bellomy of Empire Springs

Empire Springs is a progressive rock band hailing from Birmingham, Alabama. I discovered them thanks to a friend, and when I researched the band for my most recent 3 Bands/Artists You Should Be Following, I was impressed. It was very exciting to have the opportunity to speak with vocalist/bassist Brett Bellomy.


First and foremost, thank you so much for doing this! And congratulations on the release of your debut album [The Luminescence, April 2022]

BB: Thank you so much, we really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us!

Let’s start with some basics. How/When did Empire Springs form?

BB: Empire Springs, in its original form, started in 2016 when I was in college. I was playing bass in a different band and the singer quit somewhat unexpectedly. He had been the primary songwriter in that band, so even though the rest of the band wanted to keep playing music we didn’t feel comfortable playing his songs without him. I happened to have a few songs written that we hadn’t worked on yet, so we decided to play my songs and have me take over vocals. We changed the name to Empire Springs and started writing/recording songs under that name. The band was just a studio project for several years, but after several member changes we started playing live shows around 2018. 

Where did the band name come from?

BB: There’s a road sign between my hometown and my current city that reads “Empire” and “Blount Springs” for two separate counties. Because of the way the sign is formatted, it looks like Empire Springs is together. A few months after starting the new band I was driving between the cities with a friend of mine. They pointed out that “Empire Springs” would be a good band name and I liked the idea so the name stuck.

It really does work well. Your friend was right. So, what made you want to pursue a music career?

BB: I don’t remember a specific moment where I knew I wanted to pursue music professionally, but my parents really wanted me to go to college after high school. Music had been my primary elective/activity in high school (marching band, choir, etc) so when the time came to choose a major music was really the only thing I was interested in. 

Who are your biggest influences?

BB: For me personally I would say bands like Coheed and Cambria and Saosin influences my vocals the most. For the band as a whole it’s a little harder– we all draw influence from different places. But if I had to pick one, I think our most agreed upon band is definitely The Contortionist. 

Where do you draw your inspiration for your songs?

BB: That’s a really tough question– I think it largely depends on the songs. With our album The Luminescence, the songs came from a place of storytelling. We were really trying to make a cohesive collection of songs that work together to paint a bigger picture. Because of that, it’s not really rooted in personal experience as much. However we have some new songs (that I can’t talk too much about yet) that are all much more grounded in personal experience and my own perspective. 

Ah, okay. I’m excited to hear new music from y’all! While on the subject of The Luminescence, can you tell me a little bit about the songwriting and recording process?

BB: For sure! I am the primary songwriter for the band, so most of the time I have a demo recorded that I’ll send to the band. Everyone tweaks their own parts separately, kinda building off of the skeleton of the demo. We’ll usually bounce ideas for the demo around via email and everyone kinda works on it remotely. Since we don’t all live in the same state, when the time comes to record there are some songs we’ve never actually played together in a room. At first I found that intimidating, but now I really enjoy the long distance collaboration– the process may seem a little disjointed, but it really works for us. There’s an element of trust that we have with each other that is really unique because of our circumstances.

I found there to be a lot of complexity throughout the album, and I love the balance of mellow and heavy, clean vs. harsh vocals. Has anyone in the band studied composition? That may be a badly worded question, but I am amazed at how a mind must work to put music together like that.

BB: I really appreciate that! That’s definitely one thing I think we excel at, and we’ve definitely worked hard to be able to balance those things. Three of the four members have music degrees, and our keyboardist Chadwick actually has two– one in piano performance and one in composition. Even though my degree wasn’t specifically in composition, being the songwriter for our band has forced me to study the songs and bands I like very seriously so I can better understand my role. 

Well, that answers my next question. I wanted to say that the interlude was beautiful and ask who the pianist was.

BB: Chadwick wrote that piece. He also wrote the back half of our song “Khan” (when the piano and orchestra takes over). He’s very talented at knowing how to write and arrange for piano and orchestra, so we try to take advantage of that when we can.

For my own personal curiosity, what is the story behind “Drawing Lines”? (That was one of my favorite tracks.)

BB: “Drawing Lines” was actually the first song I ever wrote for Empire Springs. When I decided to take over being the singer, it was the first demo I presented to the band. Because the song is unusually personal for me, I usually try to stay somewhat vague when explaining its meaning. But to speak broadly, I was at an impasse in my life. The direction I felt like I should move would put me outside my comfort zone, and carried a lot of uncertainty with it. I struggled with it a lot, but ultimately it ended up being a really good thing for my life and mental health. “Drawing Lines” for me is a personal testament to that point in my life, but I think it could be interpreted differently for others. Either way I’m thankful that you and others connect with it.

I love when songs are personal to the artist, yet presented in a manner in which everyone listening can find some part they connect with.

You’ve teased a little during this interview, so I’ll ask outright – What’s next for Empire Springs?

BB: I hinted at it earlier, but we are working on some new music that I am really excited about. Hopefully some tours soon too? We are really trying to hit the ground running next year, so hopefully we’ll be busy!

Anything else you want your fans to know?

BB: I would just like to say thank you to anyone who has ever supported us. Whether that’s listening to our music or coming out to a show– It’s honestly still crazy to me that anyone would care about the songs I write, so I truly don’t take it for granted.

And lastly, where can my readers find out more about Empire Springs and get their hands on the music?

BB: We’re on all of the typical social media platforms so feel free to follow us there. As far as music goes, we’re on all the big streaming platforms as well as Bandcamp!


As you can see, Empire Springs is gearing up for an exciting 2023! I highly suggest checking them out (if you haven’t already), snagging yourself a copy of The Luminescence, and getting ready for what’s next!

Interview: Andy Bawden of Call of Sirens

Call of Sirens is an alternative rock band from the UK who uses their creativity to take listeners on a journey. Heavily influenced by an array of artists, as well as the story behind their namesake, this female-fronted foursome is sure to have you hooked from the first note.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with co-founder and guitarist Andy Bawden about the band’s start, their upcoming single and debut EP, and much more.


First and foremost, thank you so much for doing this. I really appreciate your time. So let’s dive right in. What made you want to pursue a music career? 

AB: As a teenager when I was learning guitar and writing my first song I like most people dreamed of being a huge rock star. Over the years as I played in different musical projects whilst working normal day jobs I realised that making it big was very very hard and was very much a 1 in a million chance. I was cool with that. Once I accepted that my music was going to be a pursuit of enjoyment and release rather than something I relied on to pay my rent, I became more free creatively. Music is still my release and escape, but do I always have that hope of making it big? Of course.

Who are your biggest influences?

AB: In terms of music I was brought up with country rock and British R’n’B of the 60s/70s. Bands like the Eagles were huge for me in terms of songwriting, and bands like Dire Straits, Led Zeppelin, Cream as well as more progressive bands like Rush. Later on I immersed myself in all subgenres of rock and metal, but these early sound sources still to this day influence the sounds and songs I contribute to. Each band member has an eclectic and diverse range of musical influences, and we try to bring elements of all these styles into our music somewhere.

I noticed the varied tastes from your Spotify playlists. Y’all definitely run the gamut of genres. So I’m curious; for you personally, what made you pick up a guitar?

AB: My dad was a pro country musician in the 70s and showed me my first chords. And I learnt by books and listening to the radio and CDs. I started playing in school bands in my teens, as well as in my dad’s semi-pro bands. My godfather is actually country music star George Hamilton IV. So I have grown up with music. In terms of guitarists, I learnt from the usual – Slash, Marty Friedman, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, etc.

Who are your favorite guitarists?

AB: Don Felder, David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Alex Lifeson, and Adam Jones are my personal top five.

And just for fun, what is something you listen to that you think might surprise people?

AB: I’m a bit of a musicals fan. My favorite film growing up was Singing in the Rain. I am also a huge fan of Les Misérables. And I am a massive Taylor Swift fan. Saw her live at Wembley on the Reputation Tour a couple of years back. Great songwriter, master promoter, and shrewd businesswoman.

You have a background heavy in music and have played with quite a few bands. Tell me how Call of Sirens came together.

AB: In early 2021 off the back of a solo home recording project I had completed during UK Covid lockdowns, I was keen to find some collaborators to write new music with. On meeting bassist and dynamic songwriter Nick, we started to develop ideas and new sounds between us. We eventually introduced a female vocal and drums to the mix as we developed our sound and style. With a couple of personnel changes over the past year we are now a solid quartet, with Connor [drums] and Leilani [vocals] being the correct and final pieces of the puzzle.

Call of Sirens (2022)

What is the songwriting process for the band, and where do y’all draw your inspiration from?

AB: We unusually start with a riff or a chord progression then match that with a theme or message we have been exploring. It can be a thought, a feeling, a concept, a historical story, etc. We then develop it into a rough song structure and phone video ourselves playing it, then share it around the band so we can feedback and work our own parts. Once we get into the practice room, because we have done a lot of the work remotely, things usually come together pretty quickly into a final product. The legacy of the pandemic is that we created ways of working that in many ways were more efficient and more collaborative. These have continued for us as it works.

With your tendency to follow a theme or concept when writing, what is the story behind your latest single “Kenopsia”?

AB: ‘Kenopsia’ is a noun found in the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig. It is…

“The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs.”

The song is the story of a girl trying to find out where she is in this new dark and empty world. In every corner she sees ‘after images’ (ghosts) of people she might have known, but she can’t quite see them. She slowly realises that she is actually alone. She is a victim of this ‘Kenopsia’. 

The band name grabbed my attention immediately. Where did it come from?

AB: I was obsessed with the idea of ‘the siren’ (a less than virtuous mermaid), a creature who would call sailors to their deaths. Mysterious beings that some believed were real, and are still real today. The theme influenced some of our early songs and the possible visuals were interesting also. It seems to fit well for us in terms of having a female lead singer as well as the general vibe of us as a band and also our approach to theme-based songwriting.

It sounds like you have a vision for this band and a lot to work with. So tell me, what’s next for Call of Sirens? 

AB: Our debut music video for “Kenopsia” will be live before Christmas, with our next single “Gravel Tree” being released on 20th Jan, and our debut EP itself called Gaia being released on 24th Feb.

From 14th Jan to 5th May 2023 we will undertake a 7 date tour in support of the EP’s release. This will predominantly be around the south of England. More information can be found at

What can fans expect from those live performances?

AB: A very energetic live performance but with some more considered moments. We always focus on producing sounds that make people want to listen and appreciate a theme or story. We very much want to take people who come and see us on a journey in the 45 minutes we have them focused on us for. It’s more of an experience than a gig.

I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on the upcoming EP. Did y’all use a thematic approach to the record, as with “Kenopsia”?

AB: Yes. Gaia is Greek for Mother Earth. Nick [bassist/songwriter] came up with the title for us to work with. We really liked the idea, but we then had to link all the songs to it.

Our take is “the death and struggle of the feminine. Seeking to find the balance again in one’s self and in the natural world around us. Abandoning the world of man in favor of the mother. “Gravel Tree” [written by Nick, set to be the second single] is more linked than the others. It specifically connects to the Gaia theme, whereas the others fit in that they are about searching for something – a person, a ghost, a greater meaning, oneself. I guess that’s the loose overarching theme of the EP.

What is your favorite song on Gaia?

AB: I like them all. Two are my compositions and two are Nick’s. My favorite to play live is “The Monsters,” as it’s fun and energetic, but “Gravel Tree” is the best song, moody and interesting, and the lyrics are amazing.

The track listing is as follows – “Kenopsia,” “The Monsters,” “A Stranger (To Myself)”, and “Gravel Tree.”

Anything else you want your fans to know? 

AB: Just that we are very grateful for all the likes, follows and comments on our socials and also the wonderful amount of streams and listens of our music over the past few weeks, and hopefully the next few. We are very happy that people are excited and interested in what we do.


Call of Sirens is going to be quite busy well into the new year. Be sure to visit the band’s website for more information and follow their socials so you don’t miss anything. And keep an eye out here, as well. I’ll be sharing the singles as they drop!

For a glimpse into that wide array of influences I mentioned, go peruse their personal Spotify playlists.

Breaking Benjamin + Bush Announce Tour With Another Day Dawns

I am so excited!!!! I am finally going to see Bush! Eeek! You can snag tickets at or Breaking Benjamin also offers VIP experiences.

  • 4/26 – North Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues*
  • 4/28 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center**
  • 4/29 – Worcester, MA – DCU Center**
  • 5/2 – Charleston, WV – Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center
  • 5/3 – Franklin, TN – FirstBank Amphitheater
  • 5/5 – Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Center
  • 5/6 – Biloxi, MS – Mississippi Coast Coliseum
  • 5/8 – San Antonio, TX – Boeing Center at Tech Port
  • 5/10 – Park City, KS – Hartman Arena
  • 5/11 – Camdenton, MO – Lake Ozarks Amphitheater
  • 5/13 – Dubuque, IA – Five Flags Center
  • 5/14 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave/Eagles Club (Eagles Ballroom)
  • 5/16 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Van Andel Arena
  • 5/18 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
  • 5/20 – Lexington, KY – Lexington Center (Rupp Arena)
  • 5/21 – Pikeville, KY – Appalachian Center Arena
  • 5/23 – Knoxville, TN – Thompson-Boling Arena

The Black Dahlia Murder Announces The Verminous Remnant Tour 2023

The Black Dahlia Murder is setting out on The Verminous Remnant Tour this spring! With special guests Terror, Frozen Soul, Fuming Mouth, and Phobophilic, the tour starts April 14th in Philadelphia and wraps May 26th in Minneapolis. There are two shows taking place before the official tour, as well, with support from Undeath and Phobophilic.

You can grab your tickets at

Pre-Tour Dates

  • 4/12 – Lakewood, OH – The Foundry
  • 4/13 – Richmond, VA – Canal Club

Tour Dates

  • 4/14 – Philadelphia, PA – Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest 2023
  • 4/15 – McKees Rocks, PA – Roxian Theatre
  • 4/16 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
  • 4/18 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
  • 4/19 – Detroit, MI – Saint Andrew’s Hall
  • 4/20 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
  • 4/21 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
  • 4/22 – Montreal, QC – MTELUS
  • 4/23 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
  • 4/25 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
  • 4/26 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
  • 4/27 – Madison, TN – Eastside Bowl
  • 4/28 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Heaven)
  • 4/29 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham
  • 4/30 – Tampa Overlook, FL – The Ritz Theater (Ybor City)
  • 5/2 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
  • 5/3 – Austin, TX – Mohawk Austin
  • 5/4 – San Antonio, TX – Vibes Event Center
  • 5/5 – Fort Worth, TX – Ridglea Theater
  • 5/6 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada
  • 5/7 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
  • 5/8 – Albuquerque, NM – The Historic El Rey Theater
  • 5/10 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater
  • 5/11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Belasco Theater
  • 5/12 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
  • 5/13 – Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre
  • 5/14 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades
  • 5/16 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
  • 5/18 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre
  • 5/19 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
  • 5/22 – Edmonton, AB – Union Hall
  • 5/23 – Calgary, AB – The Palace Theatre
  • 5/25 – Winnipeg, MB – The Park Theatre
  • 5/26 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre

Interview: Jake Oneal of Midnight For Now

Hailing from northern Colorado, Midnight For Now is a band that plays with all the extremes that rock music encompasses, creating a sound that is often moody and cathartic. Comprised of vocalist Andy Moore, guitarist/vocalist Ben Voss, bassist Nik Szejna, and drummer Jake Oneal, Midnight For Now hopes to offer their listeners an escape through music. They released their self-titled debut EP last year and are working on new music for 2023.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jake, during which we discussed playing live, the band’s formation and influences, and what’s in store for the rest of 2023.


Let’s start with a really standard question. How did Midnight For Now form, and what’s the story behind the band’s name? 

JO: So we actually met on Craigslist. Andy and Ben were already making music together as a singer and guitar player, and they put out an ad looking to form a full band. Meanwhile, Nik and I had been playing together as a rhythm section for quite some time and were thinking about starting a band of our own. I came across their ad one day, and everything just sort of worked out from there.

As for the name, it relates to the transient nature of life.  We were in a spot of mutual dark bullshit but knew that at some point it would all pass. Midnight For Now is a reference to that dark hour of our lives. 

That may be my favorite story behind a band’s name that I’ve heard in a while. Did y’all have a mutual direction at the beginning, or was everyone working with different musical backgrounds/influences? And who are some of the band’s major influences? 

JO: We were pretty fortunate to all come in on the same page about the musical direction of the band. From my experience, that’s not always the case. Our backgrounds are all a little different, but we do have pretty similar influences. I’d say the band’s major influences are mainly older rock groups like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, The Doors, The Smashing Pumpkins, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There’s a lot more that I’m probably forgetting right now, but I think that covers our bases pretty well. 

On a related note, is there anyone you listen to that might surprise people? Just based on the style you typically like.

JO: I’d say we all listen to music outside our genre, but some of the country I listen to might surprise some people. I’ve been really into Tyler Childers and the turnpike troubadours recently. 

I’ve heard of Tyler Childers and the Turnpike Troubadours, but have yet to check them out. I should probably do that, haha! What is the writing and recording process for the band? From where do y’all draw most of your inspiration?

JO: The inspiration for our music comes from just about any kind of experience that fueled an extreme feeling or emotion. For example, we have a new song called “Misunderstanding (Doom)” that came from a combination of listening to dark heavy music and watching horror films, while our recoded song “Truth” was inspired by overcoming a life altering personal situation that fueled a spiritual calling. 

A lot of our lyrical content comes from interactions with humanity and a curiosity on why we act the way we do. At times it’s beautiful, and other times it’s absolutely frustrating, but at its core, it’s usually quite simple. 

Our writing process usually starts with our guitar player, Ben, who will record an idea on his acoustic and send it over to Andy to take some time and develop lyrics. Once they have guitar and vocals figured out, they’ll bring it to a full band practice and we’ll start working on some ideas for the rhythm section. There are times when everything clicks right away, and other times where we go through a bunch of different variations before we settle on a final song. I’d say recording and listening back at every stage is immensely helpful, especially when we’re trying to work out the final details. 

You guys just released the self-titled EP last year. What is your favorite track from the record and why? 

JO: Oh man, that seems to change for me every week. Right now, I’d say “Beautiful Sun.” It has a unique drum part to it, which is a lot of fun to play, but I also like that it expresses a full range of emotion and has that really cathartic ending. 

On the subject of playing live, how is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? When you write, do you think about how it will translate in a live performance? 

JO: Oh, good question! I haven’t really thought about that too much yet. I will say, when we’re in the studio, writing and practicing, we’re doing it for ourselves. That’s our time to make music that we enjoy, have fun, and escape the world for a little while. When we play live…it’s still mostly for ourselves, but we’re also sharing that experience with the crowd, the venue, and the other bands. A lot of these people are taking time out of busy schedules and spending their hard earned money to have a good time, so we want to make sure we do our best to deliver a kickass show. 

So, we’re not thinking about a live performance when we’re writing and practicing, but we do consider the venue, the other bands, and the crowd when we develop our setlist for a given show.

Still on that topic, how would you describe a Midnight For Now show? 

JO: Overall, our shows are still a direct reflection of our music: dark, moody, and cathartic.

What would your dream lineup (that includes MFN) be? 

JO: Dang, that’s a tough one! I think I’d have to go with The Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. 

That’s an interesting combination, and I can totally see it. What are the band’s plans for 2023? And what do you feel is the ultimate goal for MFN, long-term? 

JO: We are currently getting ready to release our new single “For a While” at the end of this month, which is really exciting! We also have a few other songs we plan on releasing later this year. 

Last year was our first full year as a band and we managed to play a handful of shows in our hometown of Fort Collins. This year we’re looking at branching out a bit and playing in surrounding cities like Greeley, Boulder, and Denver. 

I think our overall goal is just to keep playing more shows and releasing more music, meeting cool people and having fun along the way. Hopefully the shows keep getting bigger and the music keeps getting better. 

What kind of interviewer would I be if I didn’t ask you to tell me a little about “For a While”? 

JO: Midnight For Now was started as a way for us to escape the pressures and responsibilities of our daily lives and just have some fun for a little while. Our song “For a While” is our way of capturing that sentiment and sharing it with others. Our hope is that our music and our shows can provide that same escape to anyone else who listens. 

For any of my readers who are interested, where can they find Midnight For Now’s music?

JO: You can find our music on Spotify, YouTube, Bandcamp, and anywhere else you stream your music. All of our affiliated links can be found here:


Midnight For Now is definitely a band to watch! Keep your eyes on their socials – and on this blog – for all things MFN! And while you’re waiting on the release of “For a While,” be sure to check out the self-titled EP on your favorite streaming service!!!

Disturbed: Take Back Your Life Tour 2023 (U.S. Dates)

Disturbed is touring this spring and summer with an alternating cast of other bands, which includes Breaking Benjamin, Theory of a Deadman, Jinjer, and even a couple of festivals with Falling in Reverse, Beartooth, and Dorothy! Tickets and VIP experiences are on sale now at

  • 4/27 – Montreal, QC – Centre Bell^
  • 4/29 – Quebec City, QC – Videotron Centre^
  • 5/1 – Toronto, ON – Scotiabank Arena^
  • 5/4 – Milwaukee, WI – FiServ Forum (Hog Fest)+
  • 5/6 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center (93X Twin City Takeover)+
  • 5/8 – Winnipeg, MB – Canada Life Centre^
  • 5/10 – Edmonton, AB – Roger’s Place^
  • 5/12 – Abbotsford, BC – Abbotsford Centre^
  • 7/11 – Denver, CO – Ball Arena*
  • 7/13 – West Valley City, UT – USANA Amphitheatre*
  • 7/15 – Ridgefield, WA – RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater*
  • 7/16 – Auburn, WA – White River Amphitheatre*
  • 7/18 – Wheatland, CA – Toyota Amphitheatre*
  • 7/20 – Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheatre*
  • 7/22 – Phoenix, AZ – Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre*
  • 7/23 – Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater*
  • 7/25 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion*
  • 7/27 – Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion*
  • 7/29 – Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP*
  • 7/31 – Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion*
  • 8/1 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre*
  • 8/3 – West Palm Beach, FL – iThink Financial Amphitheatre*
  • 8/5 – Tampa, FL – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre#
  • 8/7 – Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek*
  • 8/9 – Bristow, VA – Jiffy Lube Live*
  • 8/11 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center&
  • 8/12 – Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview*
  • 8/15 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music Center*
  • 8/18 – Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center&
  • 8/19 – Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater*
  • 8/21 – Camden, NJ – Freedom Mortgage Pavilion*
  • 8/23 – Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion*
  • 8/26 – Burgettstown, PA – The Pavilion at Star Lake*
  • 8/27 – Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center*
  • 8/29 – Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (St. Louis)*
  • 8/30 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre (Chicago)*
  • 9/1 – Clarkston, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre*
  • 9/2 – Noblesville, IN – Ruoff Music Center*

^ with Theory of a Deadman

+ with Falling in Reverse, Beartooth, and Dorothy

* with Breaking Benjamin and Jinjer

& with Jinjer and TBD (to be determined)

# with TBD

Shinedown is Bringing The Revolutions Live Tour Back to the US for Spring 2023

Shinedown is playing another leg of The Revolutions Live Tour in the U.S. with special guests Three Days Grace and From Ashes to New. Tickets are available at

  • 4/3 – Saginaw, MI – Dow Event Center
  • 4/4 – Cincinnati, OH – Heritage Bank Center
  • 4/7 – Bridgeport, CT – Total Mortgage Arena
  • 4/8 – University Park, PA – Bryce Jordan Center
  • 4/10 – Wilkes-Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plz
  • 4/12 – Huntington, WV – Mountain Health Arena
  • 4/14 – Jacksonville, FL – Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena
  • 4/15 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center
  • 4/17 – Savannah, GA – Enmarket Arena
  • 4/19 – Huntsville, AL – Propst Arena at Von Braun Center
  • 4/21 – Memphis, TN – FedEx Forum
  • 4/22 – Baton Rouge, LA – Raising Cane’s River Center Arena
  • 4/24 – Tulsa, OK – Bok Center
  • 4/25 – Lincoln, NE – Pinnacle Bank Arena
  • 4/27 – Fort Wayne, IN – Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
  • 4/29 – Milwaukee, WI – Fiserv Forum
  • 4/30 – Minneapolis, MN – Target Center
  • 5/3 – Bozeman, MT – Brick Breeden Fieldhouse
  • 5/6 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena
  • 5/7 – Everett, WA – Angel of the Winds Arena
  • 5/9 – Portland, OR – Moda Center