1. Spencer Chamberlain
Alas, Underoath is no more. But Spencer certainly hasn’t thrown in the towel. And if you’re not a screamo fan, the good news is that the former Underoath front man is growing tired of screaming himself.
“It’s tough because we wanted to keep going and changing, but we couldn’t. I’d be tracking a song and be like ‘Man, I have to scream because I have to because that’s what Underoath is.’ I would just want to sing the whole song, because I think it would be better and then we’d end up going back and forth and coming off somewhere in between. There was another step to be made with Underoath, but I don’t think the fans would have been happy. That’s always a weird feeling to know you’re getting better, but Underoath have to be a heavy band—you have to be that. That’s what side projects are for; because you have to be that and that was maybe a part of some of the guys not wanting to tour so much—because they can’t do that anymore. You can only play hardcore or heavy metal for so long.”
Obviously there are no guarantees when it comes to the way Spencer’s new music will sound, but one of Underoath’s last two tracks, Unsound, may shed some light on the musical direction Spencer might take with his new project. There is no screaming in the entire track, and it absolutely rocks. He continues in the AP interview:
“In my mind, I’m writing stuff I want to hear and I can’t do anything with. I’m already halfway done recording it. I have 30 songs—it’s different [sounding] and some of the fans will come with me, but some of them will probably be mad at me. I made that decision when I started writing songs. I was like, ‘If I’m writing some style of music and it’s just not as good as my favorite band then I’m doing something wrong.’ So, I took all of the elements from the things that I loved and sat down and decided to make something that I want to listen to. I’ve got a lot of stuff to share with people and a lot of stuff to say. That’s as much detail as I’m going into—I am not stopping. There is another band and I’ll make that announcement when the time is right.”
2. Brand New
Upon first listen, Daisy (Brand New’s latest release) can be very overwhelming. Jesse Lacey told one source that while he enjoys the album, it makes him anxious. If you haven’t taken the time to check it out, you may be surprised by the nature of what you hear. The band certainly takes a darker, more raw turn in each song, lyrically and musically. If you aren’t a fan of the album, or if you’re just ready for something new, Brand New has something in store for you next time around. According to Lacey, it’s going to take some back-tracking to get there though.
“When you decide to make noise and be chaotic, sometimes you sacrifice things like melody and order, and I think those things have places in our music as well. To get back there, it’s kind of like we can’t move forward, you have to move back and figure out where you left those things out and take a new course.”
The melancholy that has been so characteristic of Brand New will continue into the next record, and although the release date has not been announced, the band has stressed an urgency when the topic arises in interviews and is aiming for sometime this year.
3. Taking Back Sunday
If you don’t follow the band, you probably wouldn’t know that they’ve already released some demos that may or may not wind up on the next album. Mackey Sasser and Steve Balboni Ride Again is probably my favorite track so far. You can find the rest on Youtube and they’re also available for purchase on iTunes.
The record as a whole is still in process, in fact it’s possible that they’re writing new songs as you’re reading this. Mark O’Connell told Long Island Press that
“[TBS] are going to start writing a new record in February. We are actually renting a farm in West Virginia, so it is just us five together, with no interruptions. We are all pretty excited about it.”
4. Blink 182
Tom, Mark & Travis came out with an EP called Dogs Eating Dogs in December of last year, and it immediately received positive feedback from Blink lovers all around the world. When Blink got back together in 2009, I was slightly skeptical of their ability to work as a team again after 4 years away from the game, and my doubts were confirmed upon the release of Neighborhoods, their first record in 8 years. That’s not to say that there weren’t any good songs on the album, but something didn’t seem right. Tom Delonge points to their lack of togetherness: “I think we weren’t unified as a band,” he told one source. Anyways, the new EP may very well restore your trust in Blink and the potential for their next record. They started recording in February, but nobody knows when the release date is.
“Ideally, it would be out by the end of 2013, but you never know when you get into the studio how long things are going to take,” says Hoppus. So don’t count on anything. Even when they do announce a release date, it’ll probably be changed two or three times like Neighborhoods’ release date was.
You’d have to be living in a cave to not know anything about Paramore’s crazy lineup changes and all the drama that went along with them, but it looks like Hayley, Jeremy and Taylor are sticking with it, even though there were days when they wanted “to get a job serving coffee or doing something normal,” Hayley told Rolling Stone.
Their most recent single, “Now,” is available everywhere and will be one of the tracks on the EP that’s to be released on April 9th. The album will no doubt include powerful, pop-influenced, jump-as-high-as-you-can rock.