VENUE AND EVENT INFO
Hot Water Music
Founded in 1993 in Gainsville, Florida, Hot Water Music is made up of band members Jason Black, Chuck Ragan, Chris Wollard, and George Rebelo.
Strike Anywhere is more than a band; Strike Anywhere is a movement, a sound and a force. The band's incredibly solid career has spanned 15 years across the globe, releasing four critically acclaimed albums while remaining a staple in the underground music scene since their inception. Comprised of Thomas Barnett (vocals), Eric Kane (drums), Matt Smith (guitar), Mark Miller (guitar), and Garth Petrie (bass), Strike Anywhere is undoubtedly one of the most influential melodic hardcore bands of our time.
Formed in 1999 in Richmond, VA, Strike Anywhere has defied categorization and broken down walls of what it is to be punk. Fast-forward to 2009 and Strike Anywhere had fragments of song ideas, melodies, guitar progressions, rhythms, and lyrics that they'd put together over the course of the three years ready to assemble an album. These ideas were put together while the band was spending time overseas living and working in a rehearsal built by the Prague Nomads, in Czech, outside of the city. There, the band did a lot of crucial writing and fine-tuning of their collection of new songs. Upon their return, Strike got together a few more times in Richmond, VA, in basements and warehouses to finish building what would become Iron Front. Vocalist Thomas Barnett said, it's interesting that we would have a lot of our writing time for the record done in Europe, because the LP title is a tribute and a homecoming of the Antifascist Circle's creators and original activists and creators of an international antifascist movement. They were Europeans who were trying to combat the rise of fascism in Central Europe in the early decades of the last century. Strike Anywhere teamed up with Bridge Nine Records for the release of their most emotionally and politically charged album yet, Iron Front, which hit stores in October 2009.
More recently, Bridge Nine issued a live acoustic album by the band: In Defiance of Empty Times. Spanning their entire catalog, the record pulls from two different sets: a show in Rochester, NY, with labelmates Polar Bear Club, and a gig on the eve of the Occupy Movement in Richmond, VA, which benefitted the Industrial Workers of the World organization. As frontman Thomas Barnett puts it, "This is the riot folk for rioting folks."
CJ Ridings – Guitar / Spencer Ussery - Bass/Vocals / Thomas Gonzalez – Guitar / Joe Sweat - Drums
Fascinating things can happen when a hard alternative rock band explores its dreamy side. The result is BIG JESUS’ ‘Oneiric’ (pronounced ō-ˈnī-rik), which means “relating to dreams or dreaming.” BIG JESUS contrasts loud and heavy fuzz-laden tones with soft, pop-melodic vocals to create their own unique brand of music. The result is ethereal rock n’ roll that’s multi-faceted and powerful: Loud and soft; bludgeoning and dreamy; progressive and classic…all at the same time.
BIG JESUS originally formed in 2009 through Atlanta’s alternative rock music scene. Ridings explains, ”I had the idea to create a band with some friends in my spare time, just for fun. The idea was to just record a few songs and put them online for free. So I made this demo of a song one day where I played all the instruments and then sent it to a few people. I'm a terrible singer, so finding that was my first priority, and Spencer was my immediate thought of who to ask. We ended up getting together with a drummer friend of ours and re-recorded the demo with Spencer singing, got a couple other friends involved, and eventually made a little 4 song EP to put up online in 2011. From there, it just kind of snowballed to taking it more and more seriously. From the EP, people wanted us to play some small local shows, then we got asked to open some bigger shows, then that drove us to make an album of new songs, then that got us a record deal, bigger shows, etc. Now, in 2016, this band has become my absolute top priority and through the process, Spencer has become one of my closest friends and an amazing person to collaborate with.” Ussery adds, “CJ and I had met several years prior, playing shows together with our different Atlanta bands. Over the course of writing and recording a few demos for fun, we started to flesh out a solid lineup of talented guys to play with us. Through several lineup changes, and CJ and I switching guitar and bass duty, we landed on our current lineup with Tommy on lead guitar and Joe on the drums.”
The band is somewhat cryptic when asked to explain meanings behind their songs, instead preferring their audience to form its own opinions of what each song is about. Blending yin with yang, heavy with soft, can produce the most alluring results. Such is the music of BIG JESUS.
The BIG JESUS live show experience is one not to be missed. Ridings promises, “We’re four guys on a stage, playing music as loud and as crushing as possible. We want you to feel the riffs in your gut.”
BIG JESUS isn’t flashy, and they aren't trying to be overnight rock stars. They simply are who they are, and they want you to take a ride with them on their heavy, dreamy musical journey… and maybe lose your hearing at the same time.