KNITTING FACTORY PRESENTS
Gojira, Pallbearer, Oni
Gojira have announced North American headline dates with special guests Pallbearer and Oni. The summer trek is set to get underway July 30th at the UC Theatre in Berkeley, CA. Presale tickets for the new headline shows will be available beginning Tuesday, May 23th at 10am local, with general onsale beginning Thursday, May 25th, 10am local. The announce comes hot on the heels of Gojira joining Metallica as special guests on their WorldWired headlining tour (see attached itinerary). For more information, please visit www.Gojira-Music.com.
Last year Gojira’s MAGMA staked its claim amongst the best albums of 2016, earning Metal Hammer’s coveted “Album of the Year” title while also landing on Rolling Stone’s “Top 20 Metal Albums of 2016,” Consequence of Sound’s “Top 50 Albums of 2016” / “Top 10 Metal Albums of 2016” lists, and Pop Matters’ “Best Metal of 2016” recap. Additionally “Stranded,” the lead single off of MAGMA, was named one of Stereogum’s “100 Favorite Songs Of 2016.” MAGMA also earned Gojira their first ever Grammy nominations for ‘Best Metal Performance’ and ‘Best Rock Album.’ Gojira’s crushing track “Silvera” received a nomination for ‘Best Metal Performance,’ while their MAGMA was nominated for ‘Best Rock Album’ at the awards.
Gojira’s MAGMA took the #1 spot on Billboard’s ‘Hard Rock Albums’ chart upon debut last summer, making Gojira the first French band to hold the #1 spot on the chart in its nine year existence. The release of MAGMA marked the highest chart debuts of Gojira’s career landing them at #4 on Billboard’s ‘Top Rock Albums’ chart, #6 on Billboard’s ‘Tastemaker Albums’ chart and Top 25 on the ‘Billboard 200.’ Furthermore, Gojira earned career high chart positions around the globe including Top 10’s in France, Canada, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, and Norway with Top 15 debuts in Australia and Germany. MAGMA is available at all DSPs and at www.Gojira-Music.com in a variety of exclusive bundles.
Pallbearer’s third album, Heartless, is an inspired collection of monumental rock music. The band offers a complex sonic architecture that weaves together the spacious exploratory elements of classic prog, the raw anthemics of 90’s alt-rock, and stretches of black-lit proto-metal. Lyrics about mortality, life, and love are set to sharp melodies and pristine three-part harmonies. Vocalist and guitarist Brett Campbell has always been a strong, assured singer, and on Heartless, his work’s especially stunning. This may in part be due to the immediacy of the lyrics. Written by Campbell and bassist/secondary vocalist Joseph D Rowland, the words have moved from the metaphysical to something more grounded. As the group explains: “Instead of staring into to the void—both above and within—Heartless concentrates its power on a grim reality. Our lives, our homes and our world are all plumbing the depths of utter darkness, as we seek to find any shred of hope we can."
Pallbearer emerged from Little Rock, Arkansas in 2012 with a stunning debut full-length, Sorrow and Extinction. The record, which played like a seamless 49-minute doom movement, melded pitch-perfect vintage sounds with a triumphant modern sensibility that made songs about death and loss feel joyfully ecstatic. Pallbearer possessed what many other newer metal groups didn't: perfect guitar tone, classic hooks, and a singer who could actually sing.
For their 2014 followup, Foundations of Burden, the band worked with legendary Bay Area producer Billy Anderson (Sleep, Swans, Neurosis) for an expansive album that was musically tighter and especially adventurous. Armed with a more technical drummer, Mark Lierly, Foundations feels like it was built for larger shared spaces—you could imagine these songs ringing off the walls of a stadium. It was a hint of things to come. While the debut earned the band a Best New Music nod from Pitchfork and rightly landed the band on year-end lists at places like SPIN and NPR, along with the usual metal publications, Foundations of Burden charted on the Billboard Top 100 and earned the band album of the year from Decibel and spots on year-end lists for NPR and Rolling Stone.
Returning to where it all began, the quartet recorded their third full-length, Heartless on their own in Arkansas, and it’s grander in scope, showcasing a natural progression that melds higher technicality and more ambitious structures with their most immediate hooks to date. The collection, which follows the 3-song Fear & Fury EP from earlier this year, was captured entirely on analog tape at Fellowship Hall Sound in Little Rock this past summer and then mixed by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Melvins, Soundgarden).
From the gloriously complex, sky-lit opener “I Saw the End” to the earth-shaking (and heartbreaking) 13-minute closer “A Plea for Understanding,” the entire group puts forth the full realization of their vision: More than a doom band, Pallbearer is a rock group with a singular songwriting talent and emotional capacity. Heartless finds the group putting forth their strongest individual efforts to date: Campbell and Rowland, along with guitarist/vocalist Devin Holt and drummer Mark Lierly, turn in peak marathon performances. Both Campbell and Rowland also handle synthesizers alongside their normal duties, and there are plenty of gently strummed acoustic guitars amid the crunchy electric ones, adding a moody, ethereal spareness to the towering metal. The almost 12-minute “Dancing in Madness” opens with dark post-rock ambience and moves toward emotional blues before exploding into a sludgy psychedelic anthem. A number of the seven songs feature a humid rock swagger.
By fusing their widest musical palette to date, Pallbearer make the kind of heavy rock (the heavy moments are *heavy*) that will appeal to diehards, but could also find the group crossing over into newer territories and fanbases. After having helped revitalize doom metal, it almost feels like they’ve gone and set their sights on rock and roll itself. Which doesn’t seem at all impossible on the back of a record like Heartless.
In Japanese folklore, the Oni is a malevolent shapeshifting demon, able to take on many guises as it spreads pain and misery. The constantly shifting, ever-evolving sound of Ontario, Canada’s Oni is no less elusive, though unlike their namesake, amidst the brutality and violence they weave great beauty, and a breadth of heartfelt emotion. Gleefully contorted, crushingly heavy and insidiously melodic, their debut full-length grabs you from the moment it starts, and over the course of nine tracks it holds you by the throat. “We want the songs that we write to not only move us but move our fans and give them the energy to break through another day, another challenge,” states vocalist Jake Oni. “And though our music is very technical, songwriting is so important to everything we do. The songs need to rock, regardless of how well anyone plays their instrument, and we want to write songs that people can bang their heads to, and have fun with.”
Formed in 2014 by [vocalist], the initial vision was “to be the band I never got to see”, one that was deeply rooted in progressive metal but that had a feel all of its own, to rise above a genre that has constantly churned out new groups to an often numbing effect. In doing so, their sound comfortably situates them among the genre’s heavy hitters - the likes of The Human Abstract, Protest The Hero and Between The Buried in me - all of whom have stuck to their guns, constantly pushing forward and refusing to stagnate. With Jake Oni handling vocal duties, Martin Andres and Brandon White on guitar, Chase Bryant on bass and Joe Greulich on drums, they are also perhaps the first metal band to feature a Xylo-synth player, in the form of John “D”, which adds an interesting and intriguing dynamic. Oni was formed when Jake hit up his fellow bandmates in Ontario, Canada and proposed the idea of starting Oni. It was not long before they caught the attention of the Mill Records, who not only saw something unique in the music the sextet were creating, but also recognized the band as a genuine force in the live scene. The band takes it's shows very seriously and plays every show as if it’s their last!
For many, their first introduction to the band will be via their self-titled debut full-length. Emphasizing their many strengths, over the course of fifty minutes the listener is taken on a deeply absorbing ride through an expansive yet intimate storm of metallic noise that provides ample opportunity for headbanging, singing along, introspection and unrestrained excitement. Every song is packed full of contrasts and contradictions, grace and violence, and with the band disinterested in churning out endless soundalikes, each has a distinct character of its own - or more accurately characters of its own, since they refuse to limit themselves to a single mood or tone. While every Oni song is its own unique creature, we get inspired and write. Take “Eternal Recurrence”, for example, which snaps and snarls through a barrage of savage yet controlled violence, counterpointed by passages of unfettered grace, and shredding that is as complex as it is melodic. In 4 minutes and 54 seconds they demonstrate the breadth of their musical mastery and their songwriting abilities, only to tear up the rulebook and do it again and again. Lyrically, [vocalist] also refuses to limit himself to a specific theme. “There is no one concept because every song is different. Some songs are about other people, some songs are about me. Some songs are about scenarios or themes that my band and I created. It’s about how the song makes someone feel more than anything.” Presiding over the sessions was producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb Of God, Gojira), who immediately understood what the band were trying to achieve. “He brings out the best in our music,” Jake enthuses. “He pushes me vocally to get the best performance, and he knows what I’m trying to say, musically, so we get great results together. He’s a top-notch producer, he knows the metal genre, and has an ear that is amazing for the stuff that Oni does.” Through this connection, the band were able to reach out to Lamb Of God vocalist - and metal legend - Randy Blythe, who contributes his inimitable style to “The Only Cure”. Powered by the kind of bouncing judder tech-overlords Meshuggah would be proud of, it is one of the album’s heaviest moments, and Blythe brings his A-game. “He heard our stuff and was pumped to sing on it - and how could that not be a truly awesome experience?”
With their armor-plated debut under their collective belt, it’s unsurprising that the band are feeling confident and excited for the future. However, they are keeping their goals humble but heads high, their priority just to get on the road and play their songs to anyone and everyone they get the chance to. “Energy and inspiration is what we’re all about. Every day is a new beginning if we make it so we give our best at every show, for every fan. We live for music and our fans make our music possible. They give it life, energy and inspiration.”