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Picture this: You’re having a blast at a concert, screaming lyrics to your favorite songs and someone mutters the wretched term “fangirl” under their breath. Has this happened to you before? Okay, how about this: You hear a group of guys discussing “harder” bands like Metallica and you chime in to mention how you enjoy their music and the group discussion suddenly shuts you down because you don’t look like you would listen to that music. If you’re a female fan of alternative/rock music, it’s more than likely you’ve had to endure a situation like this, or at least to an extent. I, personally, cannot even count the numerous times I’ve been looked down upon by male fans.

When I was thirteen, I began to get into pop punk bands like Neck Deep, The Story So Far, State Champs, and New Found Glory. This was at a time when I was not as into indie music like I am now, a scene that is more welcoming than pop punk. At this point I was super excited to rave about these bands on twitter and attend concerts, however, I felt as if male fans were always looking down upon me as just a “fangirl” because I was a young female in a crowd of older guys. This began to intimidate me more and more as I grew older.

I would be waiting in line with my friends, ready to enter the venue to see All Time Low or State Champs and I would be freaking out about how excited I was to see my favorite bands or how much I loved Jack Barakat (still true, friends!) However, I always felt like someone was giving me a dirty look or talking about me for being “too obsessed” or “not a big enough fan.” There is literally no middle ground here. Finally, this got to me. I hated being looked down upon as just another fangirl. I wanted to abide by the laws of pop punk according to ignorant male fans, or what I thought at the time: be calm, don’t freak out, only go to head bang to cool music and to ONLY listen to heavy music. Therefore, I deleted all of the One Direction and 5SOS from my phone, telling myself it was too uncool and I would be a fangirl and would not be taken seriously by my peers if I continued to do so.

I was a young female in a crowd of older guys. This began to intimidate me more and more as I grew older.

Looking back to that point in my life now, it’s honestly the stupidest thing I’ve ever done! Do you know how many times I would be in the grocery store and hear “Stockholm Syndrome” by One Direction and I couldn’t sing along because it would be “too uncool” or how I could not longer post MCM photos of Ben Barlow from Neck Deep because I didn’t want to be seen as just another female fan? It sucked. However, I slowly grew out of pop punk, because of the negativity the scene seemed to drag along with it. I currently only go to alternative and indie concerts, so I haven’t had to deal with that sort of sexism at shows in a while. To be totally honest, I learned to just not care. I’m going to like what I like no matter what.

Even though it may only seem like female fans are looked down upon in music, this is completely untrue. Female musicians and music journalists alike are constantly faced with double standards and sexism. Female frontwomen such a Hayley Williams of Paramore and Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES have spoken out about the unfairness of the music industry. For example, I just read an article the other day about how Mayberry called out a male fan in the crowd because he asked to marry her.  Williams also has tweeted about issues like this and also has showed her annoyance with the constant interview question asked to her: “What’s it like to be a female in a band?” As much as we (females) speak out about how unfair the music industry is, the industry will never listen, unless we take a stand and make a change.

Along with that, more and more we are seeing headlines about female fans being sexually abused by male musicians. It’s almost becoming normalized. I constantly am seeing new allegations whenever I read Alternative Press or Rolling Stone Magazine and it’s truly disheartening to see how some artists take advantage of their fans just because they may appear to come across as “fangirls”. Along with this, the majority get away with it because these young fans are too afraid to tell anyone. Whether it’s their decision or not, the abuse is never brought to the attention of the authorities. This is truly one of the worst things I’ve seen and I hope it does not continue to be as nonchalant as it has become lately.

The industry will never listen, unless we take a stand and make a change.

Lastly, another thing I would like to touch on is the lack of females on tour with bands. All Time Low posted a group “end of tour” photo recently, announcing the end of their Young Renegades Tour.  If you look at the photo, the tour consisted of all males. When female fans saw that caption, All Time low received thousands of comments back saying that they would gladly join the tour if asked. Honestly, I’m glad the band addressed the lack of females on the tour. Adding more female guitar techs, managers, and merch girls to a tour will slowly but surely decrease the stigma against females in positions such as those.

Now that we live in the 21st century, anyone can access anything and pursue any career path they please. I believe that we will be starting to see more females in the industry in our lifetime than ever before. A ton of my friends that I’ve met through music are planning on pursuing careers in the music industry. Whether it’s singing, managing, promotion, or even sound engineering, females are beginning to take a stand and rise up against the sexism of the music industry. This stand will not only eliminate the term “fangirl” forever but it will also help eradicate the gender gap in the music industry.

What steps do you think need to be taken to rid the stigma from “fangirl” culture ?

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Want episode 3 of Beyond The Barricade? Sure! 3-piece Toronto outlet Sure has made big strides in a short amount of time. In this instalment, you’ll hear all about the group’s inception up until now, how their creative process works and so much more. In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting episodes yet. Strap yourself in because Sure is about to take you out for a rip!

We sure can’t wait to see what Sure has in store for the future. Wait, don’t leave…sorry, bad pun.

But seriously, we’re very excited to see what these Toronto boys have coming up.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Warped Tour season is upon us once again. Some of us are seasoned veterans, but some of us are Warped Freshmen, so ATB is here to help! Our team has compiled a video series surrounding our favourite summer festival.

This video will help you figure out the best choices for what to wear!

What are your Warped Tour fashion tips?

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Hello, earthlings! Today we’re going to be talking about a band called The Maine. Full disclosure: The Maine is my favourite band. Credit for that goes to 1- MySpace, and 2- my older sister finding out about them on MySpace and getting me to listen to them. Okay, let’s begin!

I want to start off by saying that living in Hawai’i has its pros and cons. Don’t get me wrong, the pros of living in a place where some people only ever dream of vacationing is not lost on me. It’s absolutely breathtaking and I know how blessed I am to be able to call Hawai’i home. Like I said though, it does have its cons… the main one on my list being that it makes seeing your favourite bands and artists more difficult because you’re literally just this blip of an island chain in the ocean. So you either spend years waiting for them to come to Honolulu, or you shell out money for not only concert tickets, but a plane ticket or two as well to go see them. I have admittedly done the latter and I have zero regrets, but I digress.

Thankfully we’ve had some pretty stellar acts come down and put on amazing shows. With acts like The Maine to Halsey, William Singe, Taking Back Sunday and Mayday Parade playing shows here, my view of living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as a con has definitely changed because of just how many people have been making the time to include Hawai’i on their tours. The majority of the aforementioned artists have played in Honolulu more than once and I’m honestly still so stoked that I was able to see The Maine both of the times they’ve come here. The reason I say both times is because The Maine has played shows in Honolulu on two separate occasions with a 7 YEAR gap between them. Granted, that’s none of their faults, but rest assured I definitely asked them about it when I saw them this second time around.

Way back on September 18, 2010, The Maine made their Hawai’i debut in what used to be Pipeline Cafe in Honolulu. A.K.A., the place to see bands play. I say ‘used to’ because that venue is now a BJ Penn gym, but the memories of the first time my sister and I saw and met them shall live on forever. Sure, Pipeline Cafe was admittedly on the seedier side as far as venues go, but it sort of adds to the whole experience of what going to a show can be like. Right down to the carvings in the bathroom stalls and writings up and down the venue walls. On show days, the line would stretch from the entrance and wrap all the way down the outside of the building and sometimes stretch to other warehouses and buildings in the area. The best part was that if you were close enough to the front or close enough to the side doors, you would have a better chance of meeting whoever was performing that day as they were leaving soundcheck. Inside, though, it was more of a narrow concert hall venue where you would walk in, immediately be met with the merch area, and when you walked towards the right it was this stretch of room with a stage smack at the end of it. But as rundown of a venue as it was, a majority of my concert experiences happened in what used to be Pipeline Cafe and a core memory of mine is seeing and meeting The Maine.

“I knew it was going to be one hell of a comeback show in paradise.”

It was September 2010 and they had recently released Black & White and I had literally been building up my excitement since I found out about the show back in June. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to describe the feeling of finally getting to see your favourite band live for the first, but since it’s a feeling we can all relate to, it was definitely that one. And they did not disappoint me or my sister or my friends at all. They put on an amazing first show in Honolulu, took the time to hang out afterwards like they always do, and they just genuinely seemed to have as great of a time as those of us who went to support them. I can’t remember that many of the songs they played back then, but I do remember them playing “I Must Be Dreaming”, “Right Girl” and essentially sob singing along to “We All Roll Along” and just having a wonderful time overall.

It’s so bizarre thinking back to that initial 2010 show and then thinking about their return to Hawai’i in 2017 because I saw them not once, but twice this time around. And the reason I was able to see them twice is because I have friends that are actual gems and told me to clear my schedule for June 27th because she had put me on the guest list to an acoustic set The Maine was having at the iHeartMedia offices in Honolulu. Did I freak out that I was getting to see my favourite band two days in a row? Yes. Did I have an internal freak out when I went towards to the entrance go see my friend waiting to cross the street only to find all five members walking towards me and the small group of us waiting to be taken upstairs? Also yes! Although I think the best part about the acoustic set was how intimate it was. And for whatever reason, when John and Jared were talking in-between songs, no one else really raised their hand when John asked who was going to their show the following day except me so I high key got singled out throughout the rest of the set, but it was totally for good reason. I was also low key caught off guard when he came up to me afterwards to chat about the new venue and how different it is compared to where they played last time, but again, TOTALLY CHILL.

Sticking true to what going to any type of show The Maine has, everyone got to basically hang out and take photos with them and have a good time. And I may or may not have taken my polaroid camera with me to get individual and group shots with them… but anyway! What made the entire afternoon perfect, in my opinion, was that Jared ultimately helped me convince my sister to go to their show the following night despite being anxious because of her last time going to a show. (It was a Reel Big Fish show and the crowd was just too much, ja feel?) That’s just the power of music, though. And there’s also something about members of your favourite bands relating to your anxiety feels but still encouraging you to go out to their show, but details details. Long story short, we convinced my sister to go and she’s so glad that she did because hey, seven years is a long time, and who knows when they’re going to be able to come back! Although they all said they hope to come back much sooner than before so… fingers crossed on that front!

I know I’m not alone when I say that Lovely, Little, Lonely is a work of pure art. I’ve been listening to it non stop since it came out and as soon as I saw Honolulu, HI listed as a tour date, I knew it was going to be one hell of a comeback show in paradise. Show day arrived faster than I had time to comprehend and having been to the acoustic set the day before further fueled my excitement. Show night started and show night ended and all I have to say is that when the lead singer of your favourite band spots and recognizes you in the crowd, points and smiles and waves at you and then waits for you to smile and wave back before continuing with their set, it just makes you adore said band even more if that were humanly possible. The show ended far too quickly for anyone’s liking and one of the funniest things that happened was that a barista from the Starbucks I frequent downtown before and after work was pulled up on stage during “Girls Do What They Want” and it was just gold. It got even better because we saw him working later that week.

But, anyway, the show itself was everything I wanted it to be and more. I knew beforehand that the show would end with “Another Night on Mars” but it’s another thing entirely when you’re there and part of the crowd singing along with people who just get it. There’s no need to really explain what it is about the music or the people there because everyone already feels what you feel, too. One of my favourite things about The Maine and the entire 8123 family is that I’ve never been let down by any of them. I’ve made some amazing friends through the music they’ve shared and I don’t want to know what my life would be like if I didn’t end up supporting a band called The Maine.  

TL;DR – THE MAINE IS A WONDERFUL GROUP OF HUMANS AND THEY HAVE NEVER LET ME DOWN IN THE HISTORY OF THEM AS A BAND. and can we just take a moment bc oh my god this band is real they are real people they are actual human beings who have managed to bring other human beings together and always take the time to hang out after shows no matter what because it makes me really emo and you know what make America emo again good night, folks.

The 7 year drought is over! Where would you like to see The Maine play next?

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Sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario in their hometown of Oakville, Rob and Cole of Parkside tell us all for this installment of Beyond The Barricade. From their inception all the way until today, through every peak and valley, the boys lay it all on the table- but guess what? They had fun doing so.

Make sure to check out Parkside on Spotify!

Have you checked out Parkside yet? If not, here’s your chance!

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Lights, camera, action! Lights is back, and she can now add “Comic Book Creator” to her lengthy and impressive resume.

Our favourite Canadian  lady has released a new song called “Giants”, and it’s the first song to be released from her upcoming album Skin and Earth. Pretty cool, right? Wait for it, because not only is there a new album coming from Lights, but she also wrote a COMIC to go along with the album.

The comic tells the story of a girl who lives in a post apocalyptic future. Lights said in a tweet that “Giants takes place in issue 5. The video hints at things to come without giving away what is really a pivotal point in the story”. The first issue of the comic was released on July 14th.

“Giants” starts out with a pounding piano beat in the background and Lights singing. The chorus is where the song picks up and it changes into this very uplifting, powerful sounding song. Later on in the song around the 2 minute 30 second mark, there’s a very cool part that is going to get everyone pumped when its played live (listen to it yourself and you’ll just know) Overall, the track is very catchy so it’s going to be stuck in your head for days, so get ready.

Lights has consistently released awesome songs and I can’t wait to hear the rest of this album. This is a song you don’t want to miss and your ears won’t want to miss it either. Skin and Earth comes out in fall 2017.

Okay…we didn’t think Lights can get any cooler, but here we are! What are your thoughts on her new song?

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Warped Tour season is upon us once again. Some of us are seasoned veterans, but some of us are Warped Freshmen, so ATB is here to help! Our team has compiled a video series surrounding our favourite summer festival.

The first video of this series will help you make sure you’re prepared for another punk rock summer. See you there!

Are you going to any Warped Tour dates this summer?

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Dan Luke & The Raid released the video for their debut single “Black Cat Heavy Metal” earlier this week.

“Black Cat Heavy Metal” is heavy on the bass, light on the drums and delivers a retro sound that you have to clap along to. The video for the tune syncs perfectly with the chill vibe. In the video, you’ll catch the band party hopping and enjoying good times with friends.

Although the bass and drums sound great on the song, guitarist Patrick Stewart also deserves appreciation. Towards the end of the song, Patrick delivers a noisy yet gentle guitar solo that compliments the ’70s vibe the song had given off since the start. The guitar solo gives “Black Cat Heavy Metal” the something it didn’t even know it needed.

The frontman of Dan Luke & The Raid is Dan Shultz. Does that last name ring a bell? Rock n’ roll clearly flows through Dan’s blood as he’s the little brother of Matt and Brad Shultz of Cage The Elephant.

Along with obvious praise from Cage The Elephant, a slew of other bands have taken note of the debut single. FIDLAR, Grouplove and Portugal. The Man all took to Twitter to share the song and praise the band. No big deal, right?

According to EW, the band is planning to release their debut EP later this summer. They’re also working on their first full-length album. To say they’re busy would be an understatement.

Thankfully, Dan Luke & The Raid aren’t too busy to head out on the road. The quartet is joining UK-based songwriter Declan McKenna on his tour.

With the support of big name bands, a quick tour, and an EP in the works, the future of Dan Luke & The Raid looks promising. Check out the video for “Black Cat Heavy Metal” and tour dates below.

Are you diggin’ the new track?

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Being musician is very hard thing. It takes years of practice and dedication to become master of your instrument and I don’t even need to mention how hard is to become full time musician. I wanted to shout out few independent bands that are worthy of more recognition.

Destiny Potato

Yes, their name is Destiny Potato. Even though their name is pretty silly, their music is outstanding. It’s very hard to describe their music. They took sound that PeripheryMeshuggah and SikTh pioneered. Destiny Potato have released only one album so far, titled LUN. Even on this album they tend to shift their sound. Very clean production, great hooks, very complex guitar and very melodic vocal parts characterize their sound greatly.

Red Handed Denial

Red Handed Denial is progressive metal/djent band from Toronto. So far they have released 2 EPs and one full length album and have a new album coming out this year. With every new release they have set the bar for themselves very high. Their debut album saw them combining multiple genres from pop punk to post-hardcore and mixing them into one unique sound. The amazing Lauren Babic fronts the band and  has proven that she can do both clean and screaming vocals very well. The two guitar players, Chris and Aleksei, lay down some very complex but great guitar work. Overall, Red Handed Denial is one of the most promising independent bands at this moment and I would like to see them gaining more attention because the totally deserve it.

David Maxim Micic

Remember Destiny Potato?  Well, it is time to talk about solo project of a man behind Destiny Potato – David Maxim Micic. His solo stuff does not sound that much different from Destiny Potato, although there are some minor differences with the guitar has much more presence. David sometimes incorporates bits of jazz like on his BILO III EP. In my opinion, this EP is his best so far and it’s an absolute masterpiece when it comes to instrumental music.

Marcela Bovio

Marcela Alejandra Bovio García (born October 17, 1979 in MonterreyNuevo León) is a Mexican soprano singersongwriter and violinist. She was one of the founding members of the Mexican band Elfonía. She appeared on two Ayreon albums (The Human Equation and The Final Experiment) and fronted another Arjen Lucassen project called Stream of Passion, where she played violin. Marcela sang backing vocals on two Epica albums (The Quantum Enigma and The Holographic), and some songs on The Gentle Storm. All in all she is a well respected vocalist in the music industry.

In September 2016, she released her first solo album, Unprecedented. It’s a classical inspired album where all instrumentation is performed by a string quartet. Marcela’s operatic vocals fit the sound in such an amazing way. Unprecedented is easily one of the best albums I have ever heard in my life and I would definitely recommend you to check it out. 

Which independent bands do you listen to?

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By 2007, my friends and I had stopped sharing headphones. After two years of sitting side by side in classrooms or during breaks just so that we could listen to the same bands, we didn’t like the same kind of music anymore. One of us got into indie, the other went back to listening to pop and I was still a pop punk kid for the most part. That was also our sophomore year of high school and, the more we thought about our careers, the larger the threat we’d start drifting apart. But, then, The Used released Lies for the Liars on May 22, 2007.

Liars turned 10 a little less than a month ago and there was no big announcement, re-release or tour like The Used’s previous albums. It makes sense: Maybe Memories was their first full-length and In Love and Death still is their most famous one. But, for me personally, Liars is the band’s most important record. I remember what I felt listening to each of the songs back then, seeing the band live for the first time, talking to my friends non-stop about tracks like “Earthquake” and “Liar Liar”.

Sharing headphones again and watching Berth–the DVD that followed the band during the Liars recording process at producer John Feldmann’s studio— every Friday night brought my friends and I together again. Hell, it might be the reason that we still talk, even though we all went down completely different paths.

I don’t revisit this album as much as I should, but, in celebration of it turning 10, I decided to. Even though singles “The Bird and the Worm” and “Pretty Handsome Awkward” promised the band wasn’t going too far from the roots, it was easy to notice how much The Used grew up from the making of In Love and Death in 2004. During the past three years, they were on the cover of multiple magazines, their videos were played on MTV, and a group that used to open for them became the biggest band in the world (FYI, I’m talking about My Chemical Romance).

Laughing is, however, just one of the things Bert does better than other “screamo” singers that came after him.

Despite of the opening lyric from “Earthquake” (“She had an earthquake on her mind / I almost heard her cry out as I left her far behind / and knew the world was crashing down around her), Bert McCracken’s approach to love seemed more hopeful. Yes, he did ask a lover if they would smother him, but in a cute way? “Find a Way” and “With Me Tonight” suggest the singer was trying to leave his demons behind—and he had plenty of those to fight.

Hospital” may be my favourite The Used track ever. There’s just something special about Bert’s laughter and how he incorporates it into a song. He’d done it before already on MCR’s “You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us In Prison”, which give fans even more reasons to wonder if the diss track was aimed at Gerard Way.

Laughing is, however, just one of the things Bert does better than other “screamo” singers that came after him. Watching him scream at the microphone for a minute and, then, quickly whisper the last words to a song on the DVD made me understand why, although I loved The Used, not every screamo band would have the same effect in me.

There’s one more thing that makes this band different from others of the same genre and they explored in on Lies for the Liars, especially in tracks such as “Paralyzed”. It’s the bass. Yes, The Used plays guitar-driven, fast, angry songs. But bassist Jeph Howard manages to make them groovy at the same time. If you pay attention on him on stage, you’ll see him dancing around while Bert screams his heart out.

10 years later, my friends and I still talk, but it’s rarely about the past. We don’t reminisce about starting a band because of The Used and the bass we bought my friend from her birthday is never mentioned (she sold it a couple years ago to help pay for a backpacking trip). They might not remember the nights we spent listening to our favorite songs over and over again—I had long forgotten about them before I pressed play. And, when it all came crashing down, I pushed the sadness away, smiled and thought: isn’t it curious how a group of songs released over 10 years ago can tell me more about my life at that time than my own memories?

Can you believe Lies for the Liars was released a DECADE ago?!

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