Tag

live music

EMP, Music

We Came As Romans – Forever remembered in loving eyes

We came As Romans has always been in the top 5 of my favourite bands, I will go so far as to say that their album “Understanding What We’ve Grown To Be” is a metalcore masterpiece. That album does something cool that it got 12 tracks, the first 5 is very dark and negative and lead writer Joshua Moore talks about his own flaws as a human, the 6th track “A War Inside” is 5 minutes long and in the middle of the song almost down to the second there is a piano break and from that point the album switched themes to something positive and the next 5 songs is about overcoming mental illness, just spread love and be kind to each other, before ending with a reflection in the last song that also is the title track. I could honestly talk about that album and why its brilliant for hours. As you can probably tell I am a huge We Came As Romans fan and unfortunately for me the show sold out before I could get tickets so I panic-emailed their press contact hoping to get an interview and a guest list spot, and I luckily did!

I came to Underworld a normal May day, the sky was grey as is tradition in London and the temperature was fairly warm. The first band was hours away but already the queue almost went around the block, which is understandable with a brilliant line up consisting of Polaris, The Plot In You, Alazka, and of course We Came As Romans everything was in the cards that it would be a brilliant night!

I got a text from the tour-manager to meet him behind the venue and he would take me in the backdoor, the walls inside were covered in stickers, and I was just mesmerized by all the shows that had taken place in the venue. So much history on these prisonesque walls. After a short set of stairs, I was in the surprisingly big greenroom, all the bands were chilling with their stuff. Drinks were being consumed and Dave (unclean vocals WCAR) sat on his mac in the corner. I was meeting Josh (lead guitar) and David (drummer) but Josh had disappeared so while the TM was hunting him down I got to have a short talk with Kyle which in retrospect is something I will forever cherish. After Josh had been located we headed to the tour bus and had a 20 min talk you can check in this video.

The interview wrapped up and I headed inside to catch the show, and what a show! Every band completely knocked it out of the park. I stood so close to barrier as I could and kept getting kicked in the back of my head by crowd surfers, which most of the time is a sure sign of a good show. The newcomers in the scene Polaris did put on a great show, and I am really convinced they are a band that we will see grow and grow. The Plot in You is a band I have enjoyed for a long time and was excited to see them Landon is an extremely strong vocalist and the emotion he conveys in his voice is second to none. Alazka the co-headliner was probably the band I was least familiar with, but after their set I would definitely call myself a fan.
We Came As Romans however, wow. What a set. They started off with Vultures With Clipped Wings and the second Dave screamed “I never found peace, but now I am fighting a war” people went insane and was just in awe song after song. David and Kyle did a duo thing in the middle of the set combining a drum solo with an EDM sound and even that made people jump. It was the first show in a long time I wish wouldn’t end but alas during their second to last song “Tracing Back Roots” I had to back down to the bar and get a million litres of water before dying of dehydration. The show ended with them playing “Hope” and even with aching bones and a ringing in my ears me and so many others went home with a smile on their faces.

 

But, to end this with the elephant in the room… After the production of this video finished We Came As Romans vocalist Kyle Pavone sadly passed away.

Because of that I was honestly struggling to write this blog. For weeks I stared at the screen trying to come up with what to say. If I wrote it just after the show I’d be fine, if I wrote it in July I’d be fine, if I wrote it August 24th I’d be fine, everything before August 25th would be fine, but since its currently October 1st I have to struggle to hold back the tears thinking back to seeing a show I absolutely loved and will never be able to see again. I remember when in 2016 Architects‘ guitarist Tom Searle died of cancer it hit me like a brick, then last year when Chester Bennington died I saw the article and had to go to the backroom of the 7/11 I worked at the time just to have a decent cry and listen to some Linkin Park. And now just over a month ago, I was on holiday in my home country (Norway) having a beer with some friends and having a good time before getting a text from a friend saying “Kyle Pavone is dead.”…

 

It felt like time stopped for a second, I refused to believe it, thinking it was a messed up joke. But at one point I had to accept the truth. I guess in the end you just have to appreciate the music we got from Kyle and try to take a lesson from him, mainly that life kinda suck, but that doesn’t mean we cannot make it a bit less shit by trying to spread love, make other people smile and live for each other. Rest in peace Kyle, in “Promise me” you worry about not being remembered after your passing, but I can assure you: you will be remembered in loving eyes.

Our thoughts go out to the band and Kyle’s family and friends. Please check out The Kyle Pavone Foundation that works to help people in the music community that are struggling with mental illness or addiction. https://kylepavonefoundation.org/

– Alex Dante

Check out We Came As Romans and more band merch here! 👉 emp.me/177Y

Music

Heavy Music Awards 2017 – Winners, Backstage Photos and More…

We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t the odd hangover in the EMP London office after an incredible night at the first ever Heavy Music Awards at House of Vans, London last night (August 24).

The Heavy Music Awards were set up as a completely independent awards ceremony to honour the best in rock and metal – with fans voting for their favourite contenders for each award. EMP was proud to be the headline sponsor for the event, which featured a number of awards for everything from best breakthrough band – recognising the most talented new faces on the scene – to best album artwork and best international band.

The event kicked off with a high-energy set from up-and-coming punksters Dead!, followed up by Vukovi and Venom Prison.

Venom Prison are my personal tip for a band to look out for, with an unexpectedly fresh take on classic death metal, and an absolutely kick-ass female vocalist who could probably beat even Arch Enemy’s (ex vocalist) Angela Gossow in a screaming competition.

Cloven Hoof were on hand to get everyone in the mood with a healthy dose of spiced rum, and expectations were high for the mix of music and awards to come. The entire EMP London office came down to enjoy the evening at the iconic venue, which sits underneath the railway arches in Waterloo, and plays host to everything from an indoor skate-park to a cinema. Check it out, Vans fans!

Thanks to everyone who came to browse our merch and say hi.

On to the awards themselves. Ghost scooped the Best Album Artwork award for their ‘Popestar’ EP – If the Ghost-hype has somehow passed you by, you seriously need to get out there and see them live, as they put on a stellar live show. Best UK Band was picked up the by the one and only Black Sabbath. Whilst there are some other great homegrown bands out there, Sabbath are the undisputed kings of heavy metal, and credited for the birth of genres from stoner rock to doom. A very well-deserved Best International Band went to the mighty Gojira, who have gone from strength to strength in recent years, including being announced as headliners for next year’s (incredible-sounding) Bloodstock Festival. We can’t wait!

Finally EMP’s Mark and Elena had their five minutes of fame on stage as they got up to announce the winner of the EMP-sponsored Best Album award together with Enter Shikari.

Although I personally was rooting for Gojira, it was awesome to see the trophy handed over to Architects for their quite frankly marvellous 2015 release, All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us. The band dedicated their success to the sadly-missed Tom Searle. The guys are straight off from the HMAs to smash the main stage at Reading and Leeds Festival this weekend, so be sure to check them out if you’re going.

You can see a full list of the nominees and winners -> HERE.

The evening was rounded off by the headliners, newbie punk rockers Creeper, who have rocketed to fame since their inception in 2014 thanks to their vibrant and catchy songs and pretty much endless succession of hits.

For those for whom rocking out for a solid four hours wasn’t enough, there was of course the afterparty. It’s been an amazing night, so thanks to everyone who turned up.
Watch out for next year’s event, and be sure to vote for your favourite band to get the recognition they deserve!

Fashion

Festival Fashion – Rock Outfit Ideas Summer 2017: What to wear this year!

Festival season is around the corner!
It’s time to think about the perfect outfit for this summer’s rock festivals.

 

We know how tricky it can be to find the perfect outfit for a summer festival.
You want to look good but be comfy at the same time, stylish but not over the top… plus you can’t forget that we are in England! So you need to be ready for every situation as the weather is unpredictable: you’ll never know whether it’s going to be sunny or you’ll need a boat to move from one side of the festival to the other.

Don’t trust the weatherman.

We’ve put together 3 outfits with the coolest and hottest bits and pieces available to purchase from EMP.co.uk to give you some ideas and help you create your perfect festival look! You won’t find flower accessories for your hair or heeled sandals in here! Rock festivals aren’t Coachella! 😉

I am going to few festivals myself this summer, first in line Hellfest 16-17-18 June, Clisson (France) and these are the outfits I’m going to wear during the 3 days of the festival:

– DAY 1:

Band t-shirt are a must at a rock festival. It’s the perfect occasion to show off your favourite band tee, jumper or accessories in an environment full of people that, like you, love live music and to proudly show the love for their fav band.

For the first outfit I picked between the over 1200 band t-shirts available from EMP.co.uk.
I decided to go for this EMP exclusive Metallica – “Ouija Guitar” top (I love the fit + the material is 100% cotton!) to match with this super comfy Black Premium – “Overlay Cardigan” (long fit, light knitted material, light bat sleeves), these cool but basic Dr. Denim “Jenn” shorts (100% cotton, extremely comfortable and not too tight on the thigh, leaving you free to move, dance and mosh \m/) and these beautiful Alcatraz “Skull & Roses” Gumboots.

 

To complete the outfit, add these Wildcat “Dreamcatcher” earrings (light, stainless steel and suitable for allergy sufferers) and the classic “Lennon” sunglasses (100% UV protection, mirrored, blue shades).

Hundreds of bags available HERE! Select your favourite to add the final touch to your look!

 

–  DAY 2:

For the second outfit, the word is CLASSIC. I opted for a basic Guns N Roses t-shirt that I’m going to knot into a crop top, a Urban Surface – Jeans Jacket with a beautiful floral print at the back (more pics in the link), these Urban Classics – Bandana leggings (great fit, extremely soft and comfortable, it’s going to be hard to wear jeans ever again after trying these bad boys on) and a pair of evergreen black Converse – All Star. Final touch: Blackheart – Silver Spikes bracelet set!

 

 

– DAY 3:


For the 3rd outfit I picked something comfy and practical but still stylish and punk/rockish;
I’m going to wear these Black Premium – Studded Vest (love the fit, careful the studs are pretty sharp J) and Black Premium – Skull Pearl top (love the little skull beads in the straps), this comfy and fresh Bench – Mesh long shirt and a classic pair of Dr. Martens to stay comfy and dry.

Final touch: Sex Pistol – Classic Logo cap & Cupcake Cult – Susan handbag.

 


You can find all the above and more at EMP.co.uk. Create your festival look from thousands of band merch & fashion items, trendy accessories and jewellery.

Don’t forget to take with you:

Big backpack
Umbrella
Gumboots
Raincoat
A hoodie
–  A hat
Sunglasses

Can’t wait for our 4th EMP Hellfest Roadtrip and to share loads of exclusive content from the Hellfest backstage and VIP area. Follow our Instagram page to see our Hellfest adventure and check all the updates (bands playing, exclusive images from the backstage and VIP area, best festival looks and more).