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Inside Look: Every Time I Die, Turnstile, Angel Du$t, Vein



The Orpheum Tampa – show review

Every Time I Die, touring hardcore veterans, had developed a Nationwide tour in celebration of their twenty years of being a band. And the show proved to be as relentlessly energetic, as crowds were expecting it to be. A chilly Monday night beckoned showgoers at The Orpheum in Ybor City, Tampa. Crowds in attendance to witness a hardcore show unlike any that the city has seen.

Vein opened the show with a remarkably well-received set that left a daunting precedent for all the acts that followed. The Boston natives bulldozed through their twenty minute stage time. Their cacophonous mix of spastic hardcore was quick to grab the audience by the throat. They refused to let go until they said their piece. The vein has been kicking around for nearly half a decade. But, this tour proved that they are truly a band with staying power and a force to be reckoned with in 2019.  The set ended with vocalist Anthony nonchalantly grabbing the kick drum and abruptly exiting stage left. Vein’s first LP “Eurozone” is available now on Closed Casket Activities.

The night continued with Justice Tripp-fronted Angel Du$t. A band which brings together the best elements of The Ramones, Fury of Five, and Biohazard. Throws them into a blender. A hardcore band at heart, but a playfully energetic punk band on the surface. Angel Du$t have developed a sound entirely their own in an otherwise stagnant and repetitive scene.

Turnstile has consistently been hyped as “the next big thing” since their inception.

Maryland-natives Turnstile was direct support for the night’s headliners. The band’s relentless and often flamboyant stage presence created an indescribable kinetic energy within the room. Formed in 2010, Turnstile has consistently been hyped as “the next big thing” since their inception. Their successes have propelled them to a record deal with Roadrunner Records. The deal, which issued their most recent LP, “Time & Space”.A record which saw the band rediscover their roots while simultaneously exploring sounds that defy typical hardcore conventions. The band’s accessibility and broad appeal, however, don’t discount their hardcore credentials. The band nails a sound that is as catchy as it is brutally heavy. Turnstile closed their set with “Moon.” A beautifully melodic number sung by bassist Franz, who encouraged the crowd to climb over the front barrier and sing the song with him onstage – to the chagrin of venue security.

Every Time I Die from Buffalo New York. A band that needed no introduction, took the stage and opened with “Emergency Broadcast Syndrome.” Seldom-played metalcore classic from deep in the band’s catalog. ETID formed in 1998 as a metal band which eventually embraced a more Southern rock-influenced sound. The entire tour was a celebration of ETID’s two decades run as a touring band. All the opening acts were handpicked by the band themselves.

The night was special for a number of reasons…

Suffice to say, the crowd was in for a treat as it became clear that they would be running through all the major hits from their twenty-year catalog. The setlist was diverse and noticeably compartmentalized according to album, which allowed the band to run through certain tracks then rapidly shift gears into heavier and more diverse material. Lead vocalist Keith Buckley, a character in his own right who had a brief stint as a stand-up comedian, left little time for stage banter, and instead decided to rip through songs after song of aggressive, Southern metal party anthems, which left the sweat-drenched crowd yearning for more.

The night was special for a number of reasons. Mainly due to the fact that no band on the bill received anything less than a stellar reaction from the show’s denizens. Any of these bands could have headlined due to their immense popularity and drawing power. However, the night belonged to Every Time I Die. Whose hometown of Buffalo recently legally designated an entire day in their honor (December 16th is recognized as “Every Time I Die Day” from 2018 onward). As the last chords struck out for Every Time I Die’s set, the crowd invaded the stage one last time. The night served as a reminder that hardcore still has a presence that is, at the end of the day, more fun than any concurrent music scene. And it was certainly the best way to spend a chilly Monday night in Tampa.

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VRG: ‘Afraid To Love’

We sat down with musician VRG to talk about his latest release ‘Afraid To Love’, which releases February 12th, and his process on creating the music we grow with.



We sat down with musician VRG to talk about his latest release ‘Afraid To Love’, which releases February 12th, and his process on creating the music we grow with.


DRIFTER | What inspired you to make this song?

VRG | ‘Afraid To Love’ was inspired by me trying to get out of feeling stuck. I had just finished vibing in the studio with this chick I was hanging with and I remember feeling as if I couldn’t get out of my own head. I was inspired by the conversation she and I had about love and spirituality and I remember thinking about how good it felt to just chill and vibe with someone like her, and wondering if I was still going through my own issues that usually get in the way of me opening up more.

DRIFTER | So it’s about your past experiences coming face-to-face with new connections?

VRG | Yeah, It had been 2 years since I had my divorce and writing about anything was fucking with me so I had to figure out what work needed to be done in order for me to really connect with what I was feeling. This song really felt like I was having a conversation with myself so I tried to give it that feeling with what I wrote.

DRIFTER | And how did you go about channeling that into creating this track?

VRG| I was with one of my producers one night and we we’re just sitting around talking shit, and I wanted to produce something on my own so I played some snares and kicks messing around with a Caribbean vibe. At this point my producer was knocked out, so I just started playing melodies on the pad and once I found something that stuck I thought about what I was feeling that day — and I started freestyling to the simple production I had laid out.
I literally closed my eyes and just thought about what was going on inside my head and what I couldn’t express and it just blew out of me. The whole thing felt so good to just say what I thought and I recorded the first verse and laid out the hook in the same night. While I was doing it John woke up and was like “Oh, shit this is dope!”. He ran to the computer and started adjusting the sound and started to help me put it together. At that point I knew it was something I wanted to really put my heart into.

DRIFTER | Well it definitely comes through. A lot of listeners will be able to easily relate to a track like this, is that something you were concerned with?

VRG | Absolutely, I relate to my music and I try to make it as relatable as possible for my fans. I always hope that what I write about can inspire something in someone or at least give some kind of distraction or comfort in our everyday routine. If someone relates to this in some kind of way, I’m glad, but either way it was something I needed to create before I could start working on a new direction. This particular song is special to me because it was something I created from start to finish on my own. Having that much influence on how your song sounds, from the instrument selection to the rhythm and mood, is such a dope feeling.

DRIFTER | So you’ve been working on developing your vocal skills, is that something that’s important to you?

VRG | As of lately I’ve really wanted to develop my singing voice in the studio, I’ve always wanted to get better at it and it’s something that I’ve done for a while on my own. In the near future I’m going to write more songs that feel like ‘Comfortably Numb’ and songs where I can go back to my roots in music; which is more hip-hop inspired and influenced.

DRIFTER | What do you hope the main takeaway from ‘Afraid To Love’ is?

VRG | One thing I want this song to reflect is the fact that we can all be vulnerable, and this is just me opening up and being vulnerable. I don’t think a lot of people are open to certain feelings but this song is dope – so people really don’t have a choice! Once you hear it a couple times it really is a vibe, and if you listen to what I’m saying you can understand how I ran with my feelings to make something you can really fuck with.

DRIFTER | Awesome, so what’s next for VRG?
VRG | I’m wrapping up my EP just in time for my birthday so I will have tons of new music out early next year! It’s a 5 track EP I’m working on with Bully Banger called ESCAPISM.


‘Afraid To Love’ releases February 12th on Spotify & iTunes

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How To Collaborate With Other Musicians



When collaborating, prepare yourself ahead of time, avoid trying to do too much in one session.

Before collaborating, it’s important to be prepared mentally. If it’s your first time in the studio with someone get educated. It’s helpful to know the proper etiquette for their studio. In some cases, the studio can only accommodate a certain number of people. So if you are bringing a guest or more you can make sure you are comfortable. Also, it’s important to know how much time you have. Take advantage of it and avoid unnecessary distractions. Knowing the exact reason you are in the session can save time. Gear that time toward the execution of your goals, for example: if you are writing a song in that session avoid topics about things that are not relevant. Talk about what the video would look like or what you should say or do in another song. Knowing exactly what you set out to do during your session before you go in saves time. If we save time we in return save money.

Trust each other, avoid the need to give too much feedback.

When working with others it’s important to have a level of respect and trust. If it’s an engineer it’s important to allow space for his creative process. Allow them to complete their process before you input on what you think might sound good. Allowing your producer or engineer to clearly focus on their own process allows them the time they need to execute their best performance. Producers tend to understand the artist they are working with. They know what they need to ask in order to deliver the best production. However, some producers will ask for feedback to know what mood the artist is in, seeing what works best for the collaboration. Learning what process works best for you and your producer or engineer can allow you two to build a good vibe and create amazing work together.

Too much feedback however, can take your producer or engineer out of their element. It can lead to distraction and create confusion within their own process or execution. Give them space to work and when they need help, trust them to ask. The only time advice or feedback should be given is when it’s absolutely necessary. What if the part of the song their working on strikes you in bad taste? Allow them to sit with the feeling because they mot likely are feeling it too. Most times they are thinking of a way to fix the issue themselves. Too much unnecessary feedback can leave your engineer or producer feeling as if you don’t trust their work. This may put a damper on delivering their best work.

Take your time, avoid being too hard on yourself

Good things come with patience. The most important part of any session is to never be too hard on yourself. Working with other people will often bring insecurities. We may sometimes feel as if we aren’t as good as someone else. Simply because they may know more about something so we don’t. An important thing to understand is, no matter who you are or what you know there will always be someone else who knows something you don’t. This applies to all the different fields of music. It’s common for most artist to want to “kill it” in every session. But, even the best artist needs time for things to flow. Taking your time may feel as if it’s never gonna come to you. Whether it’s writing music or recording a perfect take but being patient is key. It’s easier for things to fall into place when you understand this. Otherwise you’ll end up getting frustrated during the process and it could set you back if you are not careful.

Most people think records are made overnight, the truth is a lot of the hits we know and love have been re-written and re-recorded dozens and dozens of times. Something that could never have been accomplished if it wasn’t for patience. This will allow you to successfully take a step away from the song and listen to it with “fresh ears” and notice things you may not have noticed before. It will also give you the opportunity to practice delivery on your own away from the studio. Once you do this you can come back again can execute it differently from a new perspective.

Most importantly taking your time allows you to have fun with your craft and this is something that can be felt by all your fans. 

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Choosing The Right Strain of Weed For You



Cannabis, you may be aware that there are many strains out there like Sativa, Indica, and hybrid. But how do you know what is the right strain for you?

Or the benefits of each strain? We will be talking about what each strain is and what the benefits/side effects are to better suit your needs.


The Sativa strain is known for its uplifting cerebral effects making you feel awake. They make you feel ready to start your day. The Sativa strain does have many mental health benefits. From helping relieve, depression, headaches, ADHD, anxiety (quieting the mind from mind chatter) and much more. Sativa can be similar to drinking a cup of coffee or green tea. It is perfect for early mornings as it won’t make you feel like you need to take a nap giving you more of an energizing feeling. There are many yummy flavors to choose from like strawberry, Maui Waui, and Jack Herer just to name a few. If you are looking for a pick me up, Sativa strains are what you would want.


The Indica strain is known for its relaxation and physical benefits. Indica compared to Sativa, is more of a body high than a head high giving you more of a sedated feeling. Indica’s health benefits are more extensive than Sativa but here it is,
increased mental relaxation, muscle relaxation, decreases nausea, decreases acute pain, increases appetite, increases dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers) for night time use.

So as you can see the Indica strain can help in many ways and this strain is the most commonly used for medicinal purposes. The popular strains you may see are Grand Daddy Purple, Bubba Kush, Northern lights and Grape Ape (my personal favorite). Whatever the flavor they all carry the same effects although some are stronger than others. Be sure to ask your local budtender for which one is best suited for you.


Hybrids are different from Indica and Sativa because hybrids are crossed with both strains which bring great balance. Some flavors may have more Indica or Sativa strains which means it carries certain dominant characteristics. What does that mean for you? Well, it really all depends on your preference of what you want more of and how you react to hybrid strains.

Hybrids are very favorable amongst both Sativa and Indica because of it having both of the benefits of those strains and for it is tolerable for the majority of the day. For example, say that you suffer from anxiety but you also suffer from lower back pain, hybrids would be perfect because it will target both symptoms at the same time. All of the benefits that we have gone over applies to hybrids as well. Some of the popular strains are Blue Dream, OG Kush, and Pineapple Express. So if you’re looking for a bit of both world when it comes to Sativa and Indica you should check out hybrids.

The final verdict…

In conclusion, cannabis is a very potent and beneficial alternative in its healing properties than taking over the counter or prescription medication. It has many medicinal properties one shouldn’t ignore when dealing with a mental or physical health issue. Whatever strain you choose to consume it will definitely help with what your needs when you need it the most, we should all thank mother earth for providing us with such a beautiful plant.

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