Events

Make America Rock Again: Scott Stapp, Sick Puppies, Drowning Pool, Trapt & Adeiltas Way

Sunday

Aug 27, 2017 – 7:30 PM

14900 Metropolitan Parkway
Sterling Heights, MI 48312 Map

  • Scott Stapp
  • Sick Puppies
  • Drowning Pool
  • Trapt

More Info

Sick Puppies: Even if you don’t know Sydney, Australia modern rock trio Sick Puppies, you’ve probably seen their groundbreaking “Free Hugs,” video, which has garnered more than 11 million views on YouTube.com since it started streaming on the site last year. The heartwarming clip chronicles the true life adventures of a man who walks around holding a billboard that reads “Free Hugs," the police who ban his humanitarian crusade, and the petition that earned him back the right to provide hugs to citizens in need.

The “Free Hugs” video, which accompanied the band’s song “All The Same,” earned Sick Puppies exposure on Oprah, Jay Leno, “60 Minutes” and CNN, and inspired people around the world to begin their own free hugs campaigns. It also propelled “All the Same” into a top-requested single at commercial radio stations across North America. But while the “Free Hugs” video helped spread the music and message of Sick Puppies, the band is anything but an overnight success.

Years before YouTube, Sick Puppies were winning prestigious commendations, including “Best Song” from Triple J Unearthed, and “Best Live Performance” from the Australian Live Music Awards. The Australian edition of Rolling Stone even called Sick Puppies “the most dynamic new band in the country.”

The band’s North American debut, Dressed Up As Life, validates the praise with a heartfelt collection of exultant rhythms, propulsive beats and choruses that span miles. It’s the kind of record that captures the beauty, pain and endless possibilities of LIFE.

The aching vocals, melancholy acoustics and triumphant guitar swaths of the renowned “All the Same” transcend even without the video. “My World” pinpoints the moment where epiphany turns regret into acceptance by juxtaposing layered instrumentation with bare, simple arrangements. “Pitiful,” combines start-stop blasts with brooding atmospherics, resulting in a song that’s both angry and undeniable. And, “Asshole Father” is even more sweeping and multidimensional, intermingling serene vistas with stabs of animosity.

“The record is an honest reflection of what we were feeling and going through when we were making it,” says singer and guitarist Shimon Moore. “There were times when we were really depressed and then suddenly we were happy. So these songs capture that whole rollercoaster ride.”

“The songs are a combination of all of our influences, from Rage Against the Machine to Green day, mixed in with our own style,” bassist Emma Anzai adds.

The origin of Sick Puppies dates back to 1997, when Moore and Anzai met in their high school music room. Moore was bashing away on the drums and Anzai walked in looking for someone to jam with. “She stared at me and asked if I knew all these songs by different bands, and I was like, ‘Yeah,’ and, we just started rocking,” says Moore. “At the end of the week she said, ‘You wanna start a band?’ and we’ve been together ever since.”

Moore stepped out from behind the kit and strapped on a guitar, and the two hired Chris Mileski to play drums. They started playing covers, then wrote their own material and booked local gigs. In 1999, Sick Puppies released their first Australian EP, Dog’s Breakfast, and two years later, their song “Nothing Really Matters” won Triple J’s Unearthed band competition. Their debut album, Welcome to the Real World came out later that year. After numerous tours across the country, Sick Puppies went on hiatus for a while so they could achieve their goal to record their North American debut.

Anzai got a job in telemarketing and Moore carried a billboard of a lollipop sign advertising two-for-one shoes at an outdoor shopping mall. It was there that he met Juan Mann, who came to the mall every Thursday with his “Free Hugs” sign. “We started talking and became really good friends,” Moore recalls. “Then I asked if I could film him. But we never ended up doing anything with the footage until we came to Los Angeles.”

Since Mileski was unable to come with them to the U.S., Sick puppies placed an advertisement on the Internet site Craig’s List, looking for a new drummer. Soon, they hooked up with Mark Goodwin, whose hard-hitting style perfectly complimented the band’s aggressive style. While they worked on the new album, Moore kept in touch with Mann, and during one of their phone calls, he learned that Mann’s grandmother had died unexpectedly. To help cheer him up, Moore pulled his old footage off the shelf and edited together the “Free Hugs” video and sent it to Mann.

“It was meant just as a video get well card, and that’s the only reason it got made,” Moore says. “He saw it and said, ‘Why don’t you put it on YouTube.’ I still have no idea how it got as big as it did.”

Upon arriving in Los Angeles, the band signed a new recording contract with indie label RMR Music Group run by Paul Palmer, co-founder of Trauma Records (Bush, No Doubt). The tremendous success of the video piqued the interest of numerous record distributors, including Virgin Records, which signed Sick Puppies to a deal in 2006, right as their new album neared completion.

“It was far more difficult to make than we expected,” Anzai says. “It was a lot of hard work and it basically took us a year to finish. We spent a lot of time discussing the style of the music and the arrangements, and we reworked the songs over and over until they felt right. So, it was definitely grueling, but it was character building as well.”

In addition to learning to write better rhythms and melodies, Moore flexed his lyrical muscles and tapped into a new level of emotional poignancy. He penned songs about his fear of abandonment (“My World”), a desperate effort to save a crumbling relationship (“All The Same”) and a freaky stalker (“Deliverance”).

“I think the songwriters who really connect with people are the ones who are willing to release their deepest, darkest secrets,” Moore explains. “So, I decided to bare my soul regardless of how embarrassing or frightening it might be. And I think when you give in to that, it can be very liberating.”

With infectious tunes, a jaw-dropping stage show and equal doses of hits and hugs, Sick Puppies are striking a blow against the horde of faceless modern rock bands that are virtually all the same.

www.sickpuppies.net www.myspace.com/sickpuppies

Drowning Pool: Few bands over the past decade have arrived with the meteoric rise Drowning Pool enjoyed in 2001. Following a few years of gigging in the south, the band's debut Wind-up single, "Bodies," took over radio airwaves across the country from the moment it landed on programmer's desks. The quartet emerged as the breakout metal band that year, as Sinner went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies. In 2001, Drowning Pool kicked off Ozzfest, playing the first notes heard from the stage at the ungodly hour of 9:50am. Guitarist C.J. Pierce recalls, "It was awesome to set the mood for the tour. You would think that it would have been too early for a rock show, but we would have played at 6:00am next to the Porta Potties." One year later, they were announced as one of the main stage headliners for Ozzfest 2002 and simply put, the band had arrived. As the quartet criss-crossed the U.S. countless times over that long year, they made friends wherever they stopped and amassed a very sizeable following. Few other acts display their genuine quality of being one with the people, and this graciousness served them well. It has been said that the band's late singer, Dave Williams was "the lucky fan who won the microphone," and true to form as they had the year prior, the band stood and spent time signing and conversing with their fans at each and every tour stop on Ozzfest 2002. That is until tragedy struck on August 14th. As Drowning Pool arrived in Manassas, Virginia for a date mid-way through the tour, Dave Williams was found dead on the band's tour bus. He had passed away from natural causes, specifically Heart Cardiomyopathy, Concentric Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. The band subsequently cancelled all public appearances, returned to Dallas, and buried their partner and friend. Stevie Benton mentioned, "It was the hardest thing to ever have to do. One minute we were on Ozzfest having the experience of a lifetime, and the next moment our whole lives were rocked with the sudden loss of our brother. Ultimately though, you have to look forward to the future and not withdraw into a shell. I think Dave would be happy to see us continuing the way we are."

The follow up to Sinner, titled Desensitized, was released on April 20, 2004. The lead track "Step Up," a monstrous hard driving stampede, also led the way as the first single from the film The Punisher. Drummer Mike Luce mentioned, "The new album has a wider range covering more ground. Songs like "Step Up" and "Hate" are just straight up hard rock, while "Love and War" and "This Life" have slow, heavy passion behind them." Stevie Benton added, "The song Numb' strongly expresses the hopelessness people can feel in certain situations that became our theme for the entire record. Feeling hopelessness isn't the end. It can lead to great things."

Guitarist C.J. Pierce poignantly stated, "Not only is this album about a band continuing on and overcoming a most unfortunate situation, but it is about personal triumph. I know our family, fans, and friends will be pleasantly surprised, amazed, stunned, and struck by the fact that this recording is heavier and deeper than our previous effort." He continued "One track that stands out to me the most is a song called This Life.' It was the first guitar riff I wrote after the passing of our friend Dave Williams. This song pretty much sums it up. We are all in control of our destiny to a certain extent. Sometimes life throws you a curveball or somebody pulls the rug out from under your feet but as we all know, life goes on, music goes on such is life, and Drowning Pool will go on."

And Drowning Pool has certainly continued to persevere. In August 2005, the band announced that Ryan McCombs, formerly of metal act Soil, would take the reins as the band's third singer. On August 25, 2005 Drowning Pool once again took to the Ozzfest stage in Dallas, the band's hometown, to debut the new lineup. The show went off without a hitch and solidified the band's optimism for their future. Since announcing the new lineup, Drowning Pool has traveled to the Persian Gulf and South Korea to play several concerts for service men and woman as well as touring across America. Commenting on the military base performances, new vocalist Ryan McCombs states, "Having the opportunity to go and play for our troops over in the Gulf was an experience none of us will ever forget. To take a taste of home to those that are willing to protect the freedoms that allow us to do what we do was an honor beyond all."

McCombs sums up the band's outlook for the future, "To everyone that has already shown me their acceptance and support I thank you beyond words. Get some rest, we're gonna rip some shit up very soon."

Trapt: Trapt are a four-piece post-grunge/alternative metal band originating from Los Gatos, California in the United States, but is currently based in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.

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