Aftershock Festival 2015 – The Year of Change
By: Micheal Gianni
The 2015 Aftershock Festival returned to Sacramento October 24th and 25th in a whirlwind of change that had fans buzzing long before the event even posted this year’s lineup. In a move that can often spell disaster, the organizers decided to change up the recipe that had brought them so much success in previous years though that didn’t seem to be the case this time. Gone was the river front and Sacramento city skyline views of Discovery Park and in its place fans were greeted by a vast expanse of grass and trees filled with all the stages, vendors and attractions that Aftershock is known for.
Aftershock will have to work hard to outdo themselves next year but somehow they always do. Once again the waiting game begins as we all search the internet for clues and release dates anxious to know what Aftershock 2016 will have in store.
BAM Aftershock Festival 2015 Interviews
All That Remains:
Interviewers: Shell Champ and Michael Gianni
Band Members: Philip Labonte (Vocals) and Aaron Partrick (Bass)
Shell: This is Shell with Bam Magazine and Reality Check TV woo double duty today hell yea. We got Michael Gianni and we’ve got All That Remains. Who do we got here? We’ve got Aaron and we’ve got Phil. Aaron’s like we’ve talked about this don’t call me Jack again I’m tired of this shit(laughing). So All That Remains you here at Aftershock 2015 Wow
Aaron: It’s amazing
Shell: So what the deal have you gone here before and just slummed in the stadium? You know snuck on in and just been a fan hung out down at the Coos Light Stage you know hung amongst?
Shell: Have you ever snuck into…. Seriously though…have you ever snuck into a festival where you just like hey no one knows we are here
Aaron: No I haven’t
Shell: You should
Aaron: I mean yes I have all the time. Hat what I do all the time when I’m home from tours. I sneak into Festivals
Shell: That’s right that kind of cool right cuz I don’t get enough festivals on the road
Aaron: I pay for them I find them I fly to them
Shell: Stand in line too right
Aaron: I stand in line first and then I sneak in
Shell: I’m going to switch the mic over to Michael cuz he’s got some questions for you guys cuz he’s like…I love your music I think it’s awesome but he’s like super turbo fan so that kind of cool he can like breakdown the music and stuff
Michael: Ok so you guys are here today and in Flagstaff in a couple days or 2 days ago?
Phil: We were in Flagstaff 2 days ago. We had a day off we’re here today and then tomorrow we do Notfest.
Michael: And you guys are part of the Hard Drive Live Tour…that’s part of the Hard Drive live tour.
Phil: Yea we’re part of the Hard Drive Live Fallout Tour it’s us, We Came as Romans, Like Moths to Flames and Red Sun Rising
Michael: And then I heard a couple days ago you guys are going to be headlining your own tour starting next year?
Phil: No not starting next year. We get done with the Hard Drive Live Tour
Shell: So do you get a break I’m getting tired just how much you have to do?
Phil: Yea we took most of the summertime off. We’d fly to festivals on weekends and stuff but most of the summer was off for us. We’re going to finish this one then do a headlining tour with Audiotopsy, Devour The Day and there is one other band that escapes me right now I apologize guys and that goes from November 17th until probably the 20th of December and then we’ll probably chill out for the holidays and might do 1 show around home and then come the end of January beginning of February start doing some more touring. I believe in North America but as of right now there’s nothing I can announce.
Shell: Ok so you can’t say you’re going to be somewhere in San Francisco at any time soon?
Shell: But is it on the agenda in the next couple years to get something besides a big festival maybe on your own tour coming to say Sacramento or even San Jose,
Phil: We’ve played Sacramento before
Shell: Oh I know you have but it’s been a little while
Phil: I don’t think we have one booked on the next tour for Sacramento that I know of but we I’m sure we’re going to be doing another US tour before we come off the road to start writing again. So we’ll see we don’t select the cities that we go to, our booking agent usually handles that stuff.
Michael: One of the questions I’ve always wanted to ask you guys is who are some your influences, I listen to your music and I hear some old Slayer, Iron Maiden with the dual guitars. I can see a lot of the old classic metal influence but with a modern twist even some Pantera with your vocals you’ve got the melodies but the you’ve got the hard crushing vocals, so who are some of your influences
Phil: Throughout the band it’s pretty varied. We’re all with the exception of Mike and Aaron are over 40 or pushing 40 so like most of the stuff we we’re listening to was Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest stuff like that. That what we first started playing when we started playing music and as time progressed I got more into Death metal and bands like Cannibal Corpse, like Grave, Entombed, Suffocation and more of the Swedish metal stuff like At the Gates and In Flames and stuff like that and Ali or lead Guitar player he got into stuff like Night Wish and Dream Theater and really technical stuff. Mike was always into the more rock stuff, He was really into Gun & Roses and Black Label Society and Zack Wylde stuff. So when you pull all those different influences together. And they really do span a wide variety and that’s just in metal. That’s not talking about the pop music we listen to. I’ve been trying to say all day we really do focus on trying to write good songs and when we record them they are going to sound like a metal band because we have guitars that sound like metal. We have drums that sound like metal drums.
Michael: Oh yea your drummer some his lines with the double bass are so Slayer-esque and just so powerful. I know I tell everyone I see that you guys are probably the most technically sound metal band I’ve ever heard as far as your riffs are clean your levels and as I said just technically a step above a lot of the bands I’ve heard out there. I can honestly say that your album Overcome to me is right the with Gun & Roses Appetite as a cover to cover not a song I’ll FF past album.
Shell: That’s Michael he’s a turbofan. But I’m saying BAM magazine Bay Area. Have you guys had an opportunity on your off time to just be a tourist
Aaron: Sneaking into festivals
Shell: Besides sneaking into festivals what do you do in your off time. What is your writing process? Do you do it in studio or do you take your individual time and skype your stuff?
Phil: Everyone come s up with their own pieces and then we get together and kind of sort through it. It doesn’t become a song until everyone’s got their stuff. In some bands one dude writes the music and says here’s the song or here are the songs. With us it like we’ve got these parts what do you think do they work together do you like this and a lot of times actually all the time if it’s a majority of people that say yes and nobody has a better idea or a different idea then it gets used. If I don’t like something but I can’t come up with something to make it better where the hell do I get off saying we can’t use it.
Shell: So there’s no power tripper here.
Interviewers: Shell Champ and Michael Gianni
Band Members: Jean-Paul Gaster (Drums)
Shell: How’s it going
Jean: So far so good
Shell: How you feeling?
Jean: Great it’s a sunny day and I’m ready to play some rock and roll
Michael: Is this your first time out here in California. I know you guys have been around since the 90s
Jean: No we’ve been out here several times. The first time we came out here was 1992 when we played Gilman Street Warehouse in Berkeley
Shell: Really. Is the Gilman still around?
Jean: I have no idea but that was our first time out here and we’ve come back every year since.
Shell: Did you guys get in last night or did you just pull in?
Jean: We got in this morning we came in from Boise so we had quite a drive
Shell: So then are you guys leaving tomorrow?
Jean: No we’ll leave tonight after the gig and we’ll head down to San Bernardino. We’re going to do Notfest
Shell: That right it seems not the whole tour is doing Notfest but some of you are cuz I was just talking to someone I don’t know who and they were saying Notfest and I was oh that’s strangely familiar. So you know your music is just so err it just gets you fired up, you know its feel good music and is there anything in particular that was influenced like were you always musical as a young boy or did it just hit you later on in life.
Jean: Well I didn’t really start playing drums until I was 16 actually.
Shell: So that kind of a late bloomer. These days they start em at like 2 and stuff.
Jean: Sure yea you know I was a huge fan of AC/DC Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin so I was music fan before I started playing drums I always wanted to play drums so I saved up my money and I bought a drum kit.
Michael: So there’s not a lot of bands out there with your kind of sound anymore and you’ve stayed true to that over the years it seems like you again that kind of an AC/DC that kind of hard pounding rock n roll. Do you feel that you get a lot of pressure from the record labels to update the sound or do you just have your fan base and they let you do what you do at this point?
Jean: At this point we have our own label, we run everything front to back. And it took some years to get to that point back in the 90s in the early days of the band we would sign with a label and go on tour and inevitably the label would be unsatisfied the number of records wed put out because at the day it’s just rock and roll and I think it was difficult for them to….
Shell: Is there like a standard with the number of records cuz that’s some insight I was wondering is it you have to have so many a year or so many number 1s
Jean: I don’t know anything about that I just know that when we released people had great expectations that it would sell gold or platinum even but you know we’re not that kind of a band we paly sort of no non sense rock and roll. And I think that makes it difficult for a lot of radio programmers to put the band into a place and it makes it difficult for the labels to know what to do with us so we realized about 8 years ago that we couldn’t do this again, we can sign to another label cuz its really kind of like banging your head against the wall. And now its great we run the label it still a learning experience but we can put out music when we want how we want. We’re very lucky to be in the place we are.
Michael: Do you find now on the tours like this that a lot of the younger people are still coming up and appreciate you style of music.
Jean: Sure. Absolutely I look into the crowds like just last night we were in Boise and I’m seeing whole families out there now and that’s very inspiring.
Shell: Well with representing BAM Magazine and Reality Check is there any cool venues you played in San Francisco? Besides the Gilman?
Jean: Sure. We played Bottom of the Hill . Yea we played all around San Francisco. That’s always been a good city for us. More so than I think Los Angeles was or even San Diego. I think maybe the folks in San Francisco were a little more open-minded for us and because of that we were able to establish a fan base there before any other places in California