By GMA's Afghan correspondent Abdul Basir Shakeri
Hojat Hameed, who is the leader of White Page, decided to establish a rock band. He established White Page on March 8th, 2011 after he came to agreement with the other members of the band; Rateb Ramesh, Rabi Adib, and Reshad Afzali who were active in another rock band from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music called ‘Afghan Vision’.
White Page resumed it's music practicing in a small room located at 6th street of Qala-e-Fatula, however they had to leave there because of the people, who were giving unfair names to rock music, and loud voices of rock music. White Page restarted its music practicing in a smaller room located at Karte Char after a delay of one and a half months, but they had to leave there due to the same problems. It took one month for White Page to restart its practices temporarily again at the Afghan National Institute of Music. One month later, they found a place entitled Youth House and carried on their practices over there even though they were compelled to leave Youth House due to frequent complaints made by people. Eventually, they moved to the Venue Restaurant located on 6th street of Qala-e-Fatula and continued their practices there.
At this time, they got familiar with Archibald Gallet, who had a positive effect on promoting the band. Archi started working with White Page as a mentor. At the same time, White Page attended the biggest music concert in Afghanistan – Sound Central – which was a rock festival. White Page could prove itself as the best Afghan Rock Band and draw the attention of others.
After the festival ended, White Page members decided to compose their own songs. The first song is called ‘Fuck The War’ but the name was later changed to ‘Stop The War’ because of social and cultural conditions in Afghanistan. This song is blended with Afghan Music; the song is in Afghan 7/8 rhythm which expresses three decades war and the issues of this period in Afghanistan. The second song is called ‘Bridge’; this song expresses to create a relative bridge between Afghanistan and the and other countries across the globe. White Page members decided to compose the song when the band leader (Hojat Hameed) traveled to the USA as the first Afghan Rock Ambassador; he played music with some of musicians there like Copal Band. It should be mentioned that White Page is the only Afghan Rock Band that Rolling Stone magazine, which is one of the most popular rock magazines through the world, has published an article about it.
White Page has had great performances at many stages such as: Embassies, Afghanistan Rock Festival, a young festival, and many public centers. The White Page members decided to separate after an excellent performance at American University of Afghanistan on March 4, 2012. The decision happened due to major problems like: having no possibilities and equipments for recording the songs and having no financial support. But as time went by.....
Hojat Hameed decided to re-establish White Page. Finally, he re-established White Page again on June 21st, 2012. With other members: Reshad Afzali, Sasan Fanoos and Maqsoud Sadid. White Page are currently active in the Afghan Youth Orchestra with Hojat Hameed working as concert master and violinist, Reshad Afzali as percussion soloist. Sasan Fanoos as guitar soloist, and Maqsood Sadid as the rhythm guitarist.
In brief, White Page is an Afghan band that is made of Afghan Youth. It works for promoting the music especially rock music in Afghanistan in order to show the real and good face of Afghanistan to the world.
Now, there is a new and blank page for Afghanistan music, a white page over all black pages of which reflect adversity of three decades war. It could be written using good words, the good days of Afghan people and unsaid and unheard words of them, the words which are in the hearts, and finally the development of Afghanistan. That’s why it is called “White Page”.
White Page hopes that it can represent the music of Afghanistan on great stages all over the world. White Page exercises utmost to pave the way and never gives up any effort to achieve this goal.
Recently they performed at the US embassy and they got an award from the US Ambassador in Kabul about 2 weeks ago and they also performed at the Sound Central Festival 2013. They recently changed the vocalist.
Puerto Rico's very own Aura Azul has officially had it's latest release 'Beyond The Doors Of Time' become sold out in Japan.
The single has had three achievements given by ourstage.com - 'top 10 metal' in July 2012 and 'top 40 metal' in August and September 2012 respectively. Ourstage is owned by the MTV network.
Evidence of it selling out in Japan can be seen here: http://rockstakk.shop-pro.jp/?pid=56797196
Also here: http://www.metalpesado.com/mailorder/shop.cgi?order=&&keyword=aura%20azul&FF=0&price_sort=&pic_only=&mode=p_wide&id=27131&superkey=1
Furthermore Iron Maiden and Iron Maiden's management handpicked Aura Azul to open for them in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The video of which can be seen here:
(Clockwise from above, Lordi (Finland), Terasbetoni (Finland), Eldrine (Georgia) and maNga (Turkey).
Is it a strange phenomenon that is occurring or is it simply a new idea by European music industries to promote their metal music scene?
Ever since Lordi graced the stage of the Eurovision song contest back in 2006 and won it emphatically with their song 'Hard Rock Hallelujah', this was to become the first Heavy Metal entry in Eurovision history and consequently the first one to win the competition. Post-Eurovision the band were congratulated from many alike from the Mayor of Helsinki to the President of Finland at the time, even producing Christmas stamps with the band members masks on them as well as coca-cola delivering a Lordi style product. Their winning song 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' was then released on their sensational album 'The Arockalypse'.
Forward a year and as Lordi opened up again with their winning song succeeding a spine-chilling introduction showing the Finnish part of the article circle (in fact the vocalist Mr. Lordi was born in Rovaniemi, the administrative capital of Lapland - could Santa Claus really be a demonic rocker?) and the band playing on an icy and snowy backdrop which features iconic Finnish cultural symbols, such as the pine trees, the wolves, the frozen landscape and of course Finnish Heavy Metal.
It then was the turn of Finnish Power Metal band Teräsbetoni, whom of which currently is on a hiatus as of 2011, signed to Sakara Records (previously signed to Warner Music Finland) the quartet embraced the cold winter storm of Helsinki's Hartwall Areena and the passionate Finnish Metal scene followers that valiantly waved their national flag along to the music, but what possibly made the band end near last position may rest with the choice of song, 'Missä miehet ratsastaa' which in fact progressed the band to the final in the 2008 edition of the Eurovision, even so it is a fabulous song, full of oomph and gusto, even so the final interval act was even more sensational, the Cello Metal legends that are Apocalyptica
Forwarding a few years to 2010 and it was Turkey's turn to enter a metal band, sure it was not as heavy as the previous bands but it still carried enough riff kudos to land maNga a second place finish in the Final, losing out unfortunately to Germany's Lena; to this day most music fans still claim maNga should have been the winners since their song (and themselves consequently) were unheard of relatively in Europe, whereas Lena and her entry was already massive hit on the European music scene, still maNga put up a damn good performance with their song 'We Could Be The Same', which aptly is a good slogan for the global metal community, we are the same as it would seem. maNga in fact had gained popularity through their song 'Bir Kadın Çizeceksin' as it was featured on the 2006 edition of FIFA and came from their debut s/t album, the album was later re-released as 'maNga+' with additional songs and adapted artwork, still keeping maNga's recognizable creature. Then their second album came out 'Şehr-i Hüzün' in 2009, still keeping the band's trademark sound of Anatolian melodies and Nu Metal. Their latest album is 'e-akustik' and was released last year, overall in my opinion they were the real winners.
Consequently 'We Could Be The Same', the Eurovision entry that maNga went with, was the first ever English song they have done, since then they also released the single 'Fly To Stay Alive'.
Forward on a year and the Nu Metal / Alternative Rock trend carries on, this time it is the Georgian band Eldrine to grace the Eurovision song contest and 2011 was to prove to be another humdinger for metal as the winning song was far from rock or metal. But none the less to see a Georgian Metal band in Eurovision is a shock since the scene itself is relatively minute, with only a handful of bands actually getting known in the Caucasian region, but none the less they brought the Nu Metal sound once more, even with costumes that may even represent traditional values in terms of dress style.
Heavy Metal may need that, just 'One More Day' to reshuffle and deliver another lashing on Eurovision to win the title of the most competitive music song contest on the planet.
So where does this leave the relationship between Heavy Metal and the Eurovision Song Contest? Maybe some day a variation of the contest may be made to suit metal music, maybe Sweden or Norway may send a Black Metal band in, who knows. But what happened in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest did not happen in the final of the competition, during the semi-finals and the voting stages to vote acts to the final, from Switzerland the duo act Sinplus of whom play Post-Punk, New Wave and Alternative Rock music sadly did not get through, nor did the Israeli rock band Izabo, sure it is not metal music, but the latter is just an evident sign that rock is still represented, more so another act not to make it to the final was the Slovakian artist Miroslav Šmajda of whom plays Alternative Rock / Heavy Metal. However on a side note, the French entry Anggun is of Indonesian origin and as I found out when interviewing her, she takes influence from Heavy metal music, yet sings pop music, weird eh? So what will 2013 bring....
As Eurovision Song Contest 2013 rolls onto our screens on the following dates (NB for the UK semi-finals will be on BBC Three and the Final on BBC One - commentators Scott Mills and Ana Matronic, Graham Norton respectively):
Semi-final 1 - 14 May 2013
Semi-final 2 - 16 May 2013
Final date - 18 May 2013
There are a number of rock / electronic music entries that should be watched out for.
Representing Albania is the Rock duo Adrian Lulgjuraj and Bledar Sejko
Representing Armenia is the Rock band Dorians
Representing Italy is the Pop Rock artist Marco Mengoni
Representing Lithuania is the Indie Rock artist Andrius Pojavis
Representing Macedonia is the Pop Rock artist Vlatko Lozanoski
Representing Norway is the Electro / Pop Rock artist Margaret Berger
Representing Spain is the Pop Rock / Celtic Rock band El Sueño de Morfeo
Representing The Netherlands is the Alternative Rock / Pop Rock artist Anouk Teeuwe
Representing The United Kingdom is the Pop Rock artist Bonnie Tyler
The closest musically to metal music would be between the Albanian, Armenian and Spanish entries.
Lets start the show.
While She Waits are a new rising force in hard rock, formed by members of Phoenix-area mainstay bands The Tommy Gibbons Project (Tommy Gibbons - guitar, backing vocals) and Contrary to Reason (James Cole - vocals). The band is pleased to announce their new record deal with Oklahoma City based record label TMG Records. The band is working on new music now to be released with TMG Records later this year.
“We’re excited to be signed with TMG Records, we’ll be working with them on a full distribution and manufacturing deal, so you’ll see us in major music retailers and stores like Walmart, Best Buy and more. TMG Records is seeing great success with many of their current artists, so we’re glad to be part of that great track record and the TMG family as a whole.” states While She Waits vocalist James Cole.
“We expect big things from While She Waits and we’re really happy to have them join us at TMG Records, what stands out to us about While She Waits is their great alternative and classic rock sound, but more than anything, we love their energy. We get hundreds of submissions every week from bands wanting us to check them out, but what’s really unique about While She Waits, beyond what we normally hear and even beyond what’s popular right in hard rock right now, is that their music hits hard and never stops. The music is intelligent, well written and really draws you in with how catchy it is.” states TMG Records A&R representative Luke Johns.
Stay tuned for more information coming soon on the band’s upcoming full-length album.
While She Waits will be performing select shows in the Southwest U.S. this March. See below for all confirmed tour dates:
3/16 – Tempe, AZ @ Club 910 – No Cover Magazine Cancer Benefit
3/22 – Las Vegas, NV @ LVCS w/ Smile Empty Soul
3/23 – Glendale, AZ @ Kimmy’z on Greenway
3/30 – Hollywood, CA @ The Whisky A Go Go w/ Soil
While She Waits brings the influences of Volbeat, Godsmack, Stone Temple Pilots, Blackstone Cherry and more fused with their upbeat Southern rock styles.
While She Waits is endorsed by KranK Amplifiers, Swiss Picks, Jackson Guitars and have performed with bands like Godsmack, Orgy, Smile Empty Soul, Queesnreich, Spineshank, Fuel, Soil, God Forbid, Shadows Fall, Quiet Riot, Bang Tango, The Veer Union and Mike Kerr.
While She Waits is:
James Cole- vocals
Tommy Gibbons- lead guitars, backing vocals
Timothy Rooen- rhythm guitars
Aaron Belk- drums, backing vocals
Blake Jordan- bass
_Listenable Records are proud to announce the signing of US 1970's tinged hard rock / heavy metal band Blood Of The Sun!.
Blood Of The Sun's new album 'Burning on the wings of Desire' is scheduled for a Fall / Winter release on Listenable.
Blood of the Sun was formed in 2002 by Henry Vasquez (Saint Vitus, Archie Bunker) on drums and Dave Gryder (Storm at Sunrise) on keyboards. Blood of the Sun's goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the '70's, including highly respected seventies icons Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent and John 'O Daniel and Rusty Burns from Point Blank.
In 2004, the band released their self-titled, first release on the independent brain ticket label. This initial line up included Las Crucis singer Mark Zamarron, Sub Oslo bassist Miguel Veliz, as well as Archie Bunker guitarists Jay Benfield and Rich Christopher.
For their 2007 sophomore release "In Blood We Rock", personnel changes included Richard Hurley and Ty Thompkins on guitars and Henry Vasquez on vocals.
In 2008, 'Death Ride' was released with Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent on vocals as well as Erik Schmidt from REO Speed Dealer and Mike Doty from The House Harkonnen on guitars.
In addition to touring the states, the band toured Europe extensively in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and has subsequently been preparing their newest release "Burning on the Wings of Desire" which includes John O'Daniel and Rusty Burns from Point blank and Tony Reed. (Stone Axe, Mos Generator)
Discography: (All released on Brainticket)
2004 "Blood of the Sun"
2007 "In Blood We Rock"
2008 "Death Ride"
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-blood-of-the-sun/232236990125230 (Under Construction)
_The Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Italian band Naughty Whisper will be releasing via SG Records their new album, 'Addicted To Decadence', on July 27th! To give fans a preview of this upcoming release, the band has now posted an album teaser trailer. The album was produced by Arnold Lindberg (In Flames, Hardcore Superstar, Evergrey) and features Jimmie Strimell (Dead By April).
You can listen to the album teaser on SG Records official YouTube channel.
Link to the news on SG Records website:
Addicted To Decadence - Naughty Whisper
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release date: 27/7/2012
_Canadian Metallic Hard Rock band FAMOUS UNDERGROUND featuring ex-Slik Toxik singer (Juno Award winner) Nick Walsh signs management deal with Germany’s ROCK N GROWL MANAGEMENT.
Video trailer for the upcoming video ‘Dead Weight‘ can be viewed here.
Nick Walsh – vocals, guitars
Laurie-Anne Green – Bass
Rick Corvese – Guitars
Darren Boyd – Guitars
Desche Sparboom – drums.
Nick says of the signing
"we have been building relations with Axel for the past year and we all felt that the timing was right for us to finally seal the deal. We are totally pumped to have his passion and knowledge within the F.U. family."
‘We have never had the right opportunity before to bring our brand of metal to the European market,’Laurie-Anne states. ‘The anticipation of playing on the European stages is very exciting to us and we are ready to come over and rock out.’
_Pump, the German Hard Rock mob featuring ex-Brainstorm singer Marcus Jürgens, have entered Studio 22 to record their fourth album “Waiting For The Rapture” due for release later in 2012. New video footage from of the recording sessions can be viewed here.
The bands rough mix of the new song “Halo (I Don’t Care)“ can be heard here.
Marcus Jürgens – Vocals (Brainstorm, Kashmyr)
Marcel “Selly” Bernhardt – Guitars (Tales Of Sorrow, Unfroynd)
Michael Vetter – Bass (Watch Me Bleed, Chinchilla, Outrage, Unfroynd)
Axel “Aki” Reissmann – Guitars (Downspirit, Hazy Shade)
Andreas Minich – Drums (Unfroynd)
___Modern British metallers Furyon have just released their third part in a series of video clips featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the making of their debut album“Gravitas“. This can be seen here. The album was released on March 23rd in Europe and March 27th in North America via Frontiers Records.
”Our music is good songs with touches of intelligence” says singer Matt Mitchell, “There are a many different moods that come out from this album and all the songs have meaning and substance. Heavy and Melodic! That is what Furyon and this album ‘Gravitas‘ is about”.
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