You’ve been to a lot of shows. You’ve seen a bunch of bands. But have you paid attention to the openers? The locals that kick off the night of sick jams and good friends? If you have, good on you! You might be familiar with some of these guys. If not, get your learning caps on and get ready to do some research.
Coming up first on our list is In Favor.
In Favor are a newer hardcore/post-punk band, but have such an awesome sound. The band projects their faith in their lyrics, stage presence and even instrumentality. Their single, Her Heart Beats is a song about the horrors of the sex-trafficking industry, pertaining to children specifically. Vocalist Tyler McMunn (top right) spoke on the song’s inspiration and meaning;
“There is a massive crime industry dedicated to trafficking young girls and boys all over the world. I have had a bad history of pornography use, and in doing a little bit of research, I found out that there is an incredibly good chance that a lot of the men and women being filmed are victims of sex trafficking. So, that song is sort of me screaming at myself to wake up and do something constructive, instead of stoke the massive fire.”
In Favor also now have a full time line-up. Drummer Alex Wells (top left) recently joined the band, completing the line-up. Guitarist Jason Neymeyer of Chug Chug Wob filled in for them until Alex was chosen. McMunn says;
“Alex has been a fantastic addition to this group. Every member has a positive out look on life, so we required a person that shares this attitude. He practically oozes eagerness and a will for adventure. Not to mention, he smashes the living heck out of his kit. It was a pretty easy decision to recruit him into our ranks.”
I caught up with Alex and asked him about his experience with In Favor so far. He had this to say about his exploits;
“I think the only word I can use to explain it is crazy, and I absolutely love it. I felt part of the family the second I walked into practice the first time I came down to jam and meet all the guys. Every second of it has been awesome. The hardest part is the hour and a half drive to practice, but it’s completely worth it.“
In Favor have an EP entitled Come Home which was released on March 17th. When asked, McMunn excitedly said;
“Come Home is out! It was in really good hands, being mastered by our good friend Jared Lockrem. He does not allow projects out of his hands until he feels they are completely ready. This has been a rather crazy process, but it is finally here.”
Up next on this bountiful adventure is 4-piece metalcore/hard rock act, Dismantling The Silence.
Dismantling The Silence have been around the block a couple times. It almost seems like they’re always playing a show. If they aren’t, they’re busy writing and preparing for their album release. Singles from the album I’m Not Like You and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes showcase both a heavy side and a lighter, more melodic side to the album. DTS has performed numerous shows, most recently at The Pour House in downtown Minneapolis.
Vocalist Dilan Lange (far left) stated about the band’s unique sound;
“I like to think of it as heavy rock. It could be classified as metalcore too, depending on what songs of ours you listen to. Somewhere between Of Mice & Men and Heartist. Incorporating rock elements into heavy music. So basically metalcore with a rock twist, I’d say.”
Dismantling The Silence have an album due out soon, with their latest single In a Bad Way released on February 27th. They recently performed with Sworn In and Zealot at the Amsterdam in St. Paul.
Unturned have been taking the house-show scene by storm. With their young attitudes and loud presence, they could quite literally bring down the house. Currently, the group has two EP’s, and they are planning to release a debut titled Acceptance via Rolling Green Records. Here’s what Parker Toyne (far right; Vocals/Guitar) had to say about the band:
“Unturned officially started in mid December of 2014 as a two-piece pop-punk band consisting of myself and our drummer Sam. Him and I have been playing music together since we were 11/12 years old (I’m 16, he’s 17). Music was always something we’ve wanted to pursue from a very young age. Our friend Vince came in and played bass for us for a while but then left to pursue other things so it was back to a two-piece with fill-in bassists for shows. We released a 3 song Demo in June of 2014. We found our place in the Minnesota punk/house show scene and started playing more frequently. We released another demo in the fall of 2014 and found James (our current bass player) in November. Since then we’ve put out a split with our buds in Remo Drive and we released our first “official” EP via Rolling Green Records titled “Acceptance” on March 25th!”
Currently, Unturned is planning a few midwestern tour dates for the upcoming summer. When asked, Parker showed genuine excitement.
“We really take whatever we can get. For us it’s all about the music, and meeting new people and making a connection with them through our music. We’ll always love playing house shows though! Those are always a great time.”
As mentioned, Unturned’s loud sound and exciting show can bring down the house. From groups of people singing the lyrics out at the top of their lungs, to getting swarmed by crowds at new venues, Unturned is a group of lads that you definitely don’t want to miss out on. Check out their EP’s on Bandcamp, and go to a show with them on the bill. It’ll be a great night.
Apartment 6 have just recently came onto the hardcore scene in Minnesota, but they smashed it to pieces with their EP – Overcome. Having been described as “The Acacia Strain of Hardcore”, you can safely assume that Apartment 6 is stupidly heavy. With shared interests among members such as I Declare War, August Burns Red, and Slipknot, Apartment 6 tastefully mix their inspirations and their own original sound really well. While being a new band, their performance on the EP feels like they’ve been around a while. When asked, vocalist Alexis Peterson (center) had a lot to share.
“Reno and Shane had a project with one other person. That person was doing vocals but dipped. This was long after the boys first band. Shane and Reno wrote some music that they would jam at their parents’ house, and I’d sit and hang. I jokingly was like ‘I could do vocals’, which I have never done before until last spring. I had lyrics, too. Dylan decided he would come jam, then Levi asked too. We had everything together with ‘Misery’s Finest’. Finally, one day we practiced it. They thought I sounded alright. We all decided that these jam sessions would be a band that would actually play shows, ’cause why not? We never thought we’d come as far as we have. Because, Apartment 6 kinda started off as a joke.”
Apartment 6 have played a handful of shows, but they desire to do a miniature tour around the Fargo, Wisconsin area. If you listen to the EP and read the lyrics, it’s really somber and sad. The lyrics particularly relate to things that the members have either struggled with, or experienced.
“Misery’s Finest is about the battle that’s always in my head. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I’ve had a dark path with choices I’ve made and terrible events that caused me to develop PTSD. I enjoy explaining our lyrics to people and letting them know that they are not alone. Every day with any mental illness or demon in your head, it’s going to be okay. You have good days, but you also have your bad days. You don’t always have to be miserable. You can reach out for help.”
Alexis went on to explain how she wishes to get rid of all the bad events that are a real thing within the scene. Sexism, racism, and homophobia were just examples of what she talked about. Apartment 6 have released their debut EP entitled Overcome and is available on the band’s Facebook page as well as Bandcamp.
Last but not least are Fargo, ND locals Atrocities. Since they’re from Fargo, they’re not technically a local band from around here, but they play here enough to make it seem like they’re part of the Minnesota Family.
Atrocities, like In Favor, are a spirit-filled hardcore band. While being aggressive and in your face, they’re some of the most down-to-earth dudes who just love Jesus. As of late, Atrocities has had a wave of success following their most recent demo and music video. Hunter Puhr (right) is extremely excited about the amount of success the band has had the past few months.
“It’s cool. People seem to be digging the music, so it has us really excited for what the future has to offer with future tours and releases. In the future we plan to go on a month long tour with bands like In Favor, All Became New and Valleys. We’re also preparing for a few new releases. We’re gathering up for a split with In Favor as well as our first full length album. We’ve been in writing mode for the last few months.”
Vocalist Matt Orr (center) chimed in with how the band is worth your ears. Saying:
“I would say its our emotion we do our absolute best to put everything we have into everything we do. We strive to give our hearts to God and to this band and to anyone listening. Every song we write or have written has a certain emotion about something or for something. So our goal is to leave that on the stage every time we play or leave it with the listener every time they listen.”
With big plans in the future, it’s no contest that Atrocities is here to stay and carve their name into the concrete. With a now full line-up, a loud sound and killer tunes, Atrocities is a definite must for all hardcore fans to check out. Below, you can find all the band’s mentioned music links for you to pick up. Come out to a show and support the bands as well. You never know, you might find your new favorite band!
In Favor: infavor.bandcamp.com
Dismantling The Silence: itunes.com/dismantlingthesilence
Apartment 6: apt6.bandcamp.com