You Me At Six, The Swellers

You Me At Six (9:30 PM)

The Swellers (8:30 PM)

Twin Atlantic (7:45 PM)

We Are The Ocean (7:00 PM)

Tue, February 14, 2012

6:30 pm

$0.00 - $12.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

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You Me At Six - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
You Me At Six
This year, Josh Franceschi spent his birthday in Los Angeles. His girlfriend, his best friend and his sister had all flown out to help him celebrate and they had a big day out planned. First, though, Josh had to stop by the studio for what he thought would be a quick meeting. He and his band mates in You Me At Six had been holed up in producer Neal Avron’s home studio near Sunset Strip, making ‘Cavalier Youth’: their fourth album, soon-to-be defining statement and follow-up to 2011’s gold-selling ‘Sinners Never Sleep’.

Things had been going well, so Josh was a little surprised to find Neal, guitarists Max Helyer and Chris Miller, bassist Matt Barnes and drummer Dan Flint’s birthday surprise for him was to suggest that his contribution to ‘Wild Ones’ – the epic closing song on one of the most anticipated rock records of 2014 – wasn’t quite up to scratch.

“If on ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, they’d have said, ‘Josh, why don’t you rewrite this?’, I’d have been like, ‘Why don’t you go fuck yourself?’” laughs Josh. “But when they said, ‘Musically, this is such a massive song, do you really want to be the one that lets it down?’, I was like, ‘I really don’t’.”
So Josh spent his birthday holed up in Neal’s garden with his laptop, rewriting the lyrics and vocal melody until they matched the scale and scope of the music. When he emerged triumphant – “like a kid at Christmas”, according to Max – with the revamped song, Josh knew it was a “defining moment” for the band.

Such incidents show the ambition and renewed appetite at large in the You Me At Six camp. The band has been a model of musical development from 2008 debut ‘Take Off Your Colours’ through 2010’s ‘Hold Me Down’ and on to ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, but now nothing less than brilliant will do.
This is an all the more remarkable state of affairs considering the staggering achievements around that last album. ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ debuted at No. 3 in the UK album chart. The band were hailed as leaders of Britain’s new rock scene by everyone from Radio 1 to Q magazine and The Times. Their song The Swarm became the theme tune for Thorpe Park’s blockbuster rollercoaster of the same name. And – having stormed stages at Download, Reading & Leeds and all over the world – the campaign finished with a sold-out show at London’s 12,500-capacity Wembley Arena in December 2012.

That show – documented on 2013’s ‘The Final Night Of Sin’ DVD – was the culmination of eight years hard work, since the band formed as teenage pop-punks in Weybridge, Surrey, in 2004. It also – in Josh’s words – established them alongside “the big boys” of British rock. But while many bands would view such an occasion as the peak of their career, You Me At Six see it as base camp. After Wembley, change was inevitable: the band had switched management company and split with their old label, eventually finding a happy home with BMG’s new recorded music arm.

But things had changed within the band as well. ‘Sinners Never Sleep’, for all its triumphs, had not been the smoothest recording process while the squabbles with their old label – which Josh had to battle to get to release ‘Reckless’ as a single, only for it to become their most played radio song ever – had taken its toll. “If somebody had asked us ‘What’s next?’ after Wembley, the answer would’ve been, ‘We really don’t know’,” says Josh. “We had no label, no management, no idea really.”

That they rediscovered their verve in such spectacular fashion on Cavalier Youth is testament to the studio environment created by Neal Avron (Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, Weezer), who worked them harder than they’d ever worked before, but also encouraged them to broaden and stretch their musical horizons. But it’s also due to the giant strides made by the band itself. Hence the next-level musicianship displayed on the album. Max Helyer’s riffs are catchier than most people’s choruses. Dan Flint’s drums are more colossal than Godzilla’s big brother. And, where ‘Sinners Never Sleep’ successfully tried its hand at a pick’n’mix selection of different genres, ‘Cavalier Youth’ displays a consistency born of confidence.

There’s still plenty of variety of course, with songs ranging from the all-out rock attack of ‘Room To Breathe’ and ‘Win Some, Lose Some’ to the acoustic, Best-Coast-and-Joy-Division-namechecking ‘Be Who You Are’. ‘Lived A Lie’ has already become the band’s (and BMG’s) biggest-ever hit single, charting at No. 11, its inspired marching band-style middle eight showing off their current willingness to push their musical boundaries. Meanwhile, the crossover alt-rock anthem ‘Forgive And Forget’ boasts a chant so infectious, 2014’s festival crowds are probably singing it already.

Lyrically, too, Josh is fizzing with fresh optimism, exemplified by the pulsating positivity of ‘Fresh Start Fever’, its “Dream a little bigger!” chorus surely destined to soundtrack a million New Year’s resolutions as well as spur the band on to new heights. Because, more than anything, this is the first You Me At Six album to establish a big, beefy rock sound that belongs entirely to, well, You Me At Six. “For the first time, there’s a real cohesiveness in our sound,” says Josh. “We wanted to write a record that in five or ten years time would still be relevant and make sense.” “We’ve got bigger ambitions than just staying in our world and scene,” states Max. “We want to be a band that’s listened to by everybody.”

So they enthuse not just about their dreams of appearing high up the bill at Reading & Leeds, but also to play Glastonbury for the first time. They enthuse over the strength-in-depth of ‘Cavalier Youth’, an album they hope will spin off “at least six” singles. And they make no bones about their desire to graduate to arenas, not just as a London one-off, but as a regular occurrence all over the world. They’re already making headway in Australia and America – where YMAS recently completed their first headlining tour after years of groundwork on package tours and in support slots – and are primed to become the UK’s next enduring international rock success story.
“That’s the ambition for this album,” says Josh. “We’d be lying if we said breaking America isn’t something we want to achieve.” And they certainly have the ambition, the ability and, in Cavalier Youth, the album to accomplish such aims. “I don’t think our band’s ever sounded this good,” says Max proudly. “If there’s ever a time for You Me At Six, it’s right now.”

He’s right too. That’s why ‘Wild Ones’, the song Josh so successfully tweaked back in that LA garden on his birthday, finds the frontman posing the question, “Are we going to live forever?” with the confidence of a man who already knows the answer. Josh might not have had much of a birthday bash this year. But ‘Cavalier Youth’ marks the happiest of returns for You Me At Six -- and now the whole world gets to celebrate.
The Swellers - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
The Swellers
From the perpetually down-on-its-luck, blue collar, rustbelt factory town of Flint, Michigan, comes new Fueled By Ramen signees The Swellers, a punk band that knows a thing or two about making hard, no-nonsense, but infinitely catchy music.

Following in the footsteps of other hard- Flintites who've made their name on the world stage—film provocateur Michael Moore, '70s hard rock pioneers Grand Funk Railroad, '80s grindcore/death-metal pioneers Repulsion, and the late rapper M.C. Breed—The Swellers have forged a hard-edged, yet accessible style of punk over the better part of a decade, the last three of which have been spent touring non-stop with the likes of Less Than Jake, Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong, A Wilhelm Scream and Streetlight Manifesto, among numerous others.
Twin Atlantic - (Set time: 7:45 PM)
Twin Atlantic
That much of Great Divide was written in the back of tour buses, late at night, after Twin Atlantic had stepped off yet another festival stage is evident from first listen. Addictive, arms-aloft anthems with instantly catchy choruses and refrains that beg to be howled back dominate the Glaswegian band’s glorious second album. Bristling with energy and oozing optimism, Great Divide is a rock record with widescreen ambition, inspired by the band watching their own fans and from sharing stages with the likes of Springsteen and Foo Fighters.

“Our aim was always to make songs this size,” says Twin Atlantic singer Sam McTrusty. “Coming from a punk rock background, it took a while - we like to say we went the scenic route. But it was the right route for us, full of interesting stops on which we learnt a lot – about ourselves, about each other, about how to make music that connects with fans which is always honest, never forced.”

Almost three years and over 300 gigs since the release of their silver-selling, debut album, Free, catapulted them from clubs to sold-out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and the main stage at Reading and Leeds, Twin Atlantic have made a mainstream record that marries their incredible energy live with a more mature approach to songwriting that acknowledges their long-held love of pop. Great Divide may be driven by guitars and drums, but it is also steeped in piano and strings, built on soaring melodies and littered with lyrics, sung in McTrusty’s strong Scottish accent, that express grown-up emotions as chantalong slogans.

“We’ve been through our punk rock rebellion phase and come out the other side,” laughs McTrusty. “We’ve all grown up being in this band. Dare I say it, we’re finally fully-formed adults. Since Free, some of us have got married and bought our own places and I’ve spent time in Canada because my girlfriend lives there. When the four of us got back together to work on this album, there was no bullshit. With our own lives sorted, it was easier to see the point of the songs and how we wanted them to sound. And, definitely, part of that was embracing pop.”

Pop hooks and harmonies abound on songs such as Hold On, an ode to self-belief driven by drums it’s difficult not to dance to. ‘It’s a risk worth taking/To have a life worth living’ sings McTrusty on a huge, hooky chorus that’s a surefire summer singalong. The stunning Brothers And Sisters, set to shimmering guitars, bulked up by multi layered vocals and boasting a soft-loud dynamic is a collective call-to-arms dedicated to those who refuse to give up on their dreams.

Flamboyant first single Heart and Soul is a dirty rock stomper that sums up the shared feelings of a bouncing festival crowd, nods to both classic Bon Jovi and Queen and has already moved George Ergatoudis, Radio 1’s head of music, to tweet ‘Hyperbole alert. No joke - STUNNING does not do them justice.’

Twin Atlantic formed in 2007 when McTrusty and bassist Ross McNae, a friend from school, joined forces with drummer Craig Kneale and lead guitarist and occasional cello player Barry McKenna. All four had been in previous bands on the Glasgow scene. They bonded over a shared love of alternative rock, punk-pop and the city’s skate and street art scene, as well as a determination to make music their day jobs. Their ferocious shows soon saw them booked to support Smashing Pumpkins, Biffy Clyro and their teen idols Blink 182. Within two years, they had played most major UK festivals and been signed, following a tip-off from Alan McGee, to American label Red Bull Records.

“Our A&R person saw us at this strange snowboarding Channel 4 gig at Battersea Power Station,” recalls Kneale. “We pure went for it at that show, not because we knew anyone was watching, but because we were fucking freezing. We were surrounded by fake snow, our hands so cold we couldn’t hold our guitars. Either we went for it or we froze. Our A&R said it was the craziest gig he’d ever witnessed.”

A mini album, Vivarium, released in 2009, found Twin Atlantic fans in Kerrang!, saw them tour Europe and the States, play festivals including Download and Sonisphere and support My Chemical Romance. Free, their debut proper, followed two years later, boasting three singles playlisted by Radio 1, including the title track, which soundtracked Felix Baumgartner’s historic space jump in 2012.

“We were told Felix himself chose it,” says Kneale, “because he liked the lyric ‘Set my body on fire so I can be free’.” I guess he knew something could go horribly wrong. Thank God it didn’t! It wouldn’t have been a good epitaph for us.”

Most of Great Divide was written last year, while Twin Atlantic were still touring Free.

“90% of it was written in the back of the tour bus, or a sweltering van in America,” says McTrusty. “Our adrenaline was through the roof because, for the first time, thousands of people had come to see us. I’d be in the lounge, unable to sleep, recording ideas on my phone, trying to make sense of the reaction we’d had to our songs. You can’t hear 10,000 people singing a chorus back at you and not be changed by it.

“I’d sit there thinking ‘I wish I’d had this type of song’ or been able to make people feel a certain way. I tried to write for people who don’t dance, and didn’t intend to, but couldn’t help it cos the energy of the song meant they couldn’t stand still.

“I was definitely inspired by playing with Bruce Springsteen, who we supported at Hard Rock Calling last year. Every song of his is an anthem, even if it’s weird and complicated. You can’t see Springsteen and not remember it the next time you write.”

The bulk of Great Divide was recorded in Rockfield in Wales with producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies), who also helmed Free. Additional songs were recorded in the States with Jacknife Lee (Snow Patrol, U2, R.E.M.). The Rockfield sessions lasted much longer than had been planned and almost broke the band.

“We were there, between festivals, for most of last summer,” recalls McTrusty. “Remember how good the weather was? We were ridiculously decadent, lying in the sun, bringing back loads of alcohol. We bought a big projector screen, played FIFA and watched nearly every James Bond film.

“At the start it was amazing. We were inspired by stories of the bands who had been there before us. We used the piano that’s on Bohemian Rhapsody. But by the end, when the album still wasn’t finished, the place started to feel too isolated. Silence to me is terrifying – I’m from inner city Glasgow, I’ve always lived on a main road.”

One of the results of the extended Rockfield sessions was the song Oceans, Twin Atlantic’s favourite on the album.

“Oceans could only have been written somewhere like that,” says McTrusty. “It sounds like a cry from an unhinged, isolated person, which is what I became there.”

Hold On also took on new meaning, becoming a metaphor for a band at breaking point.

“There were a lot of frayed ends and decisions to make,” says McTrusty. “Hold On was us telling ourselves to not give up, that we’d get there in the end. Did we ever think the end was nigh? I’m not sure, but we did hold on and we made it and that’s what matters.”
We Are The Ocean - (Set time: 7:00 PM)
We Are The Ocean
We Are the Ocean are a 5 piece post-hardcore band from Loughton, Essex, England. The band has played hundreds of shows since their formation, including several festivals during 2008 such as Slam Dunk, Offset Festival, Middlesbrough Music Live, and Taste of Chaos. They have supported bands such as You Me at Six, The Used, The Blackout, Fightstar, Funeral for a Friend, Underoath, Lostprophets and My American Heart, as well as playing alongside Kids in Glass Houses, From First to Last, The Medic Droid, Brigade, Saving Aimee, Tonight Is Goodbye and Furthest Drive Home. They embarked on a 24 day show headline tour in January and February 2009, selling out most venues. The band released their second album Go Now And Live on 25 April 2011.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change