|Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on May 9, 2012 at 2:30 AM|
Godsmack, Staind, Halestorm bring 'Mass Chaos' to region
Concert Sunday in Binghamton
Sure, "The Avengers" smashed box-office records last weekend by teaming up different superheroes for one epic film. Local hard rock fans, though, will get to witness their own high-octane alliance Sunday when the Mass Chaos tour pulls into the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Between them, co-headliners Staind and Godsmack have sold more than 35 million records in their 17-year careers, while female-fronted opener Halestorm rose to the Billboard Top 20 last month with its sophomore release, "The Strange Case of ..."
The whole lineup is great," Godsmack frontman Sully Erna said in a recent conference call with journalists. "Any single one of these bands could go on first, second, or third; it wouldn't matter. I mean, the whole package is really strong and I'm really excited about it."
Like all package tours, which have been a rock 'n' roll staple since the 1950s, part of the appeal is to see the three bands on the Mass Chaos bill in one night.
"In this economy, it's tough for people to have extra money to be able to go to a show. It's a little bit of a luxury," said Staind guitarist Mike Mushok. "The more bang for the buck you can give them, I think the more likely chance you have of getting people there."
The past year has been busy for each of the bands:
On Tuesday, Godsmack will release its first live disc, "Live and Inspired," a full setlist from a 2010 show in Detroit with 13 of the band's favorite tunes to perform.
"We thought it was a very exceptional show for us," Erna said. "We actually recorded the whole tour. We were going to do a compilation, so this song was from Vegas, a song from Chicago, some from Dallas, but the more we looked at this Detroit show, we just kind of figured out that it was a really good show for us and it's always a great audience (there), as any rock band will tell you."
Also included will be an EP of newly recorded cover songs, including the Beatles' "Come Together," Pink Floyd's "Time" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."
"This is actually kind of a vacation for us a lot in the sense there's no real hard work behind prepping for a new record and all that stuff," Erna said. "This is kind of let loose and have fun with it."
Last year, Staind faced dissention in the ranks while recording its seventh album, and founding drummer Jon Wysocki was replaced in May with Sal Giancarelli, the band's drum-tech roadie since 1999.
Mushok said the low-key Giancarelli — who lives in the Syracuse area — has fit into the band's chemistry because he was "already part of the family."
"We've always known that he was a great drummer and, when it came time, it just seemed like the perfect fit to go from behind the drums to playing them, because he knew all the material and we knew he could more than handle it," he said.
Staind's self-titled CD was released in September and won praise for its return to a heavy metal sound of earlier efforts. It debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, and its two singles, "Not Again" and "Eyes Wide Open," have received heavy airplay.
We kind of went on this journey and I think the last record (2008's 'The Illusion of Progress') you lose the progress; it really kind of took us as far away from that and we could have gotten, almost," Mushok said. "And, look, I enjoy the journey. I love some of the songs on the last record, but I think after kind of completing that, we said, 'Let's kind of come back to why we started the band,' and that's really what the idea was behind the album."
Halestorm — founded by siblings Arejay (drums) and Lzzy Hale (lead vocals and guitar) when they were just 10 and 13 years old — is definitely a band on the rise, having built a strong fanbase in southeastern Pennsylvania before branching out beyond the Keystone State.
"The Strange Case of ...", with its "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"-inspired title (the dots are connected in the tune "Mz. Hyde"), is the follow-up to the band's self-titled 2009 debut. Its first single, "Love Bites (So Do I)," is in radio rotation now.
"With this record, we had a better concept of our fans and a lot of what we did was inspired by them and the feeling that we put on more live shows," Hale said. "This music is bridging the gap between what we do live and what we can do in the studio."
Hale, who sometimes feels like "a little sister in rock" surrounded by her bandmates, said she looked forward to getting some pointers from Mushok, Erna and their bands.
"Both of these guys, (in) Staind and Godsmack, have had huge careers and have such experience on the road, I'm really looking forward to just watching them perform, just being completely put in my place," Hale said. "It seems like every time I think, 'Well, you know what? I've got this. I'm the boss,' then you play a tour like this and you're like, 'Man, I've got to practice!'"
Like any good entertainers, the Mass Chaos crew knows that fans are what supply the energy and keep them in business. A contest earlier this year gave die-hards with graphics skills the chance to design a tour poster - but during the interview, Mushok and Erna schemed to take it up a notch or three.
"I think we're going to let the fans actually play the shows. I'm just going to be in a La-Z-Boy on the side and watch them play," Mushok said.
"I love that idea!" Erna agreed with a laugh. "We should find fans that look like every band and just have one night where we kick back in lawn chairs and watch them go."