Exiled From Grace – “A show of strength in belief in oneself and one’s own individuality.”

Exiled From Grace are a hot, young new metal band from Sacramento, California! Their debut EP “Tragedy” is out now on iTunes, Spotify, and other digital music platforms! The band members include John Timmons (Vocals), Gerard Aguilar III (Bass), Molly Wallace (Drums), Dru Wallace (Guitar) Alex Lovato (Guitar).

How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?

John Timmons: My dad listened to a lot of classic rock like Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles, so he would pretty much be playing one of their cassettes every time I was in his truck with them so that was sort of when the seeds were planted I guess. But it wasn’t til around middle school that I started getting into heavier music, and from that it just snowballed into metal, then Deathcore, then wanting to play and perform.

Gerard Aguilar III: I joined the school marching band in 7th grade and soon discovered bands like Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria.

Molly Wallace: Playing Rock Band was what originally got me into music when I was younger and going to Warped Tour is what really got me into metal.

What got you started playing music and how old were you?

John: I was 11 or 12 when I bought my first bass because the only kids I knew in a band in my town needed a bassist.

Dru Wallace: When I was 7, I used to play Guitar Hero 3 and I loved the songs on there so I started learning them on real guitar.

Alex Lovato: I saw the movie School of Rock and got a guitar the Christmas I turned 8. After that I started playing live with my dad and grandfather.

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative?

John: One of the early projects I was in had a vocalist who wanted to play bass so he asked me to hop on vocals instead. I would also say Marilyn Manson had a big influence on my desire to be a frontman. I am differing levels of proficient in just about every instrument present in this band, mainly so that I can contribute in some way to the writing process rather than just lyrics. No, I would say that I’ve grown exponentially as a musician just in the last two and a half years that I’ve been playing with G. He’s helped me grow into a much better and more capable player all around.


How did Exiled From Grace come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from?

John: I joined a project G was already apart of and we found that we clicked personally and musically, so after not long we had split with the other members and formed EFG out of that. As for the name, we were sitting in my garage spit-balling names and it was between that or an homage to an As I Lay Dying record. It really is meant to represent people who feel outcasted from society’s typical outlets of happiness and finding the courage to create their own happiness outside of society’s norms. And then subsequently, wearing that “mark” as a show of strength in belief in oneself and one’s own individuality.

What is the plan for recording new music, where, when and with who will be recording you? Will there be bonus tracks, cover songs, vinyl and cassette?

John: We’re currently finishing up the writing/demoing of our full-length with Randy Saelee, the guy who did our EP. We will be recording the official tracks with him and another engineer based out of the Bay Area. As for the rest, you’ll have to find out when we unveil the record!

Who are your original influences and who are your current inspirations and admiration’s local and or national?

Dru: Sworn In.

What makes a good Exiled From Grace song?

John: Heaviness, grooves, and aggression. Everything else is sort of whatever we’re feeling in the moment of writing it or the feel of the song based on the lyrics I have written.

Molly: Anything you can break a limb in the mosh pit to.

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

G: I watch Lords of Dogtown often and it always makes me right tuff riffs.

John: I read a lot of classic/modern literature and I often get ideas based off some of the themes or phrases prevalent in the novels.

How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?

Alex: Don’t ask me that question.

John: More then I care to admit because I’m constantly on there promoting us. And I hate all of them.

Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months?


The Agony Cycle EP – Betrayer
Eternal Nightmare – Chelsea Grin
Deathwish – Within Destruction
Come Hell – Dead Crown
World Demise – Falsifier

You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?

John: Antichrist Superstar by Manson (best album of all time in my opinion)
Spite’s Self-Titled
Women and Children Last by Muderdolls

What does metal mean to you?

John: To me, it basically just means a community of people who all enjoy really heavy and aggressive music because they’ve all been at a point in their lives in which the music has helped them pull themselves out of whatever problem they were dealing with, and because of that there is this culture of respect around each other, like we all know we’ve all gone through similar shit and there’s a sort of familial connection that comes with that.

What does the rest of 2018 have in store for Exiled From Grace?

John: We have a show on September 15th with Alestorm and then one on the 10th of November with Goatwhore and The Casualties. And besides that, we’ll be continuing to finish up our record which should be released sometime next year.

Chase Foster of Zephira “Music has literally done everything for me and I wish to give back as much as possible”

Sacramento’s Zephira bring melody and death metal into one swift punch, but don’t just listen to this, go see them live and decide for yourself!

How did you first get in to music? Who turned you onto metal?

The first real love for music I had was roughly 10 years old. While playing the video game The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, I’d listen to music by Linkin Park, Slayer, A Day To Remember, System of a Down, Korn, Lamb of God, etc. I’d listen to whatever good to me at the time my genre was all over the place. I preferred the heavier stuff significantly more then anything else. I had not found my favorite genre at the time and was pretty open as long as it didn’t sound so happy I suppose.

How did you become a vocalist? Are you proficient in any other instruments?

In 2010, I started listening to metalcore bands a lot, Asking Alexandria, Motionless in White, As I Lay Dying all that kind of stuff and thought it was super cool (at the time) and wanted to learn how to scream like that. So, what I would do is go into my room or car and just sound god awful and attempt to mimic them until I started getting a grasp on what my voice can do. I can play some cello and violin but nothing much more.

How did the band form, how did the band name come about and what other names were considered? How did the band meet and how long did it take to finalize this lineup?

Okay, this is an interesting one and its going to be long, but everything ties in. In 2013 I started a post-hardcore band with a couple of friends and was always missing something, drums or bass or something always was a missing instrument it was extremely frustrating, and this went on for about 3 years. Eventually in 2016 late December I would find our current Drummer Isaac Nordine and we clicked from the start and would just practice terrible metalcore songs because we both knew them and played the music through my PA system. Come February 2017 I met Nathan David Young at an Atomic Flounder show and I just bluntly asked hey man want to jam after having a good conversation with him. Either a day or two later we had our first jam. We decided between a list of names which I unfortunately do not have anymore but we decide on Zephira because it was a very clean and unique sounding name. For 8 months, we met Sundays, to practicing some real basic but heavy sounding music and played our first show on my 21st birthday, or at least the day before which was on Friday the 13th 2017, which went extremely well for a first show as three piece. We’d go at least another month and a half, before signing on Anthony Taffala who I knew from high school, and I noticed him posting some music gear, and I simply asked, “hey man I see your posts about music gear we should jam!” Literally a few days later I took him a show we where playing and BOOM the handsome devil joined on. Our giant 6”10 guitarist Taylor Houpt would join us a few weeks later, as well after the very first show, Anthony was on and joined like the next night. After some time, and a loss of a member and several shows in between we finally met our bassist Zach Juntunen which at the time of writing this (7/13/2018) Zach will have his first public appears with us on stage tomorrow (7/14/2018).

Who are some of your influences? Which of your influences might we hear in your music?

Hmm, this is kind of a difficult question because we are still finding our true sound as a band, But id like to say we have a lot of Tech and Melodic stuff mixed together, but for influences you can see we sort of pull from all over. Influences are: Archspire, Infant Annihilator, Enterprise Earth, Shadow of Intent, Wastewalker, Signs of swarm, I, Valliance, Falsifer and more.

Who have been some of your favorite bands you’ve hung out with and shared the stage with?

I would have to say our favorite bands to share the stage with have been Wurmflesh, Akasha (LA), Mador Maero, Exiled from Grace, Wastewalker, Tyrannocannon, and The Odious Construct.

How soon can we expect new recorded music from Zephira, will there be a full length and who will you be working with and where?

Beginning of September, we have a single planned for release and its gonna be a heavy hitter I promise you that. We have enough songs for a full length right now, but we have started to grow as a band and are taking a drastic different approach to new music. I think right now may not be the best time for our full length, however we are highly considering taking 4-5 of our best songs and releasing an EP so we can move on to our real potential. With who we will be working with, it has not been decided we could possible do it ourselves or hire someone but when the time comes to sit down and recorded our new songs well decide from there.

Are you currently involved with any other projects outside of Zephira?

I am not a part of any other bands, I’m a one man band because I like have a strong schedule and being in multiple projects could lead to issues, and in all honesty the boys in Zephira are my family.

What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?

Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: A Year with the Criminally Insane, everyone needs to read this book.

Has music at all been therapeutic for you, is there a particular artist or type of music you go to for comfort?

Music has been extremely therapeutic, I was bullied and beat up literally almost daily 6th-9th grade and the only thing that I really had was music because I refused to tell anyone what was going on. So music has literally done everything for me and I wish to give back as much as possible. As for specific artist or genre I mainly listen to melodic metal and some lo-fi music.

Bands you would love to tour with on a dream tour package and musician or artist you would like to meet and interrogate?

I would absolutely love to tour with Enterprise Earth, Shadow of Intent, and Aversions Crown

Top 5 albums or songs released in 2018 and of all time?

1. Xavlegbmaofffassssitimiwoamndutroabcwapwaeiippohfffx: Gore 2.0
2. Between The Burried and me: Automata I&II combo
3. Atlerbeast: Feast
4. Rivers of Nihil: Where Owls Know my name
5. Don’t know yet some of my favorite bands are neck deep in albums to be released before the end of the year.

All time:
1. Enterprise Earth: Embodiment (2017)
2. Traitors: Mental State (2016)
3. Shadows of Intent: Reclaimer (2017)
4. System Of A Down: Hypnotize (2005)
5. Infant Annihilator: the elysian grandeval galèriarch (2016)

Dance Gavin Dance Share New Video For “Count Bassy”

Rise Records and American rock quintet Dance Gavin Dance are excited to present the music video for “Count Bassy,” the fourth track to be released from its highly anticipated, forthcoming studio album titled Artificial Selection. Helmed by director and animator Mount Emult (who also directed the band’s “Summertime Gladness” music video), “Count Bassy” is another intense musical, and visual, journey consistent with the tone of the band’s new body of work. Check out the music video for “Count Bassy” below. Continue reading “Dance Gavin Dance Share New Video For “Count Bassy””

An Evening With John 5 In Sacramento, California – April 15th, 2018

On April 15th 2018 John 5 returned to Sacramento accompanied by supporting act Hero Jr. This was my second time seeing John 5. The first time was in 2015 on a headlining tour with Doyle. The show took place at Harlows. Right away you can see the dedication of the fan base as it was raining lightly but that did not stop people from standing in line. It amazes me that a performer such as John 5 can bring an amazing musical experience without any vocals. The show was amazing as always, filled with many surprises. Hero Jr. was a refreshing new take on rock n roll with some growls mixed into the high points of the songs. They are a 4 piece hard rock outfit from Indiana. I was very curious as to what their sound was going to be because very rarely do I discover a new rock n roll band. Especially one that is original and brings a totally new sound to the cemented rock genre. About 40 seconds into their first song the whole crowd was moving and bobbing their heads. The guitar work was amazing. Fast licks and a range of vocal work. A lot of groove and a lot of talent. I was glad that this was the only band that opened for John 5 as we got to see a lot of great material from Hero Jr.

John 5 came out in a slow foggy atmosphere, which quickly turned into a battle of shredding. Its as if he tries to top himself every time. There was a few slow songs which showcased his more personal side to the music and complimented the shredding of the whole show. It was a beautiful performance. The highlight of the night was special guest, Slayer/Exodus guitarist Gary Holt joining John 5 for an amazing cover of Enter Sandman. It was amazing to see that in such a small venue. Truly powerful the way the entire crowd sang along to it. Personally i lost my voice after that. John 5 then closed the set with a beautiful medley of songs. Everything from Iron Maiden to Van Halen. It was great seeing everyone enjoy the music and live in the moment. There was a special encore of John 5 performing the Rage Against The Machine classic “Killing In The Name Of”, and then of course his cover of beat it by Michael Jackson. We were all left wanting more. Visually and musically an amazing show. John 5 always delivers. No filler, all talent.


Author: AJ Guzman

An Evening With Distinguisher – Live Photo Review

Distinguisher @ Holy Diver…courtesy of Zoran Theodorovic


Sacramento, California

Distinguisher are touring in support of their self-released studio album, What’s Left Of Us, which was released on February 10, 2017. Distinguisher will be performing at the 20th Annual 2018 New England Metal Hardcore Festival on Friday, April 20th, as part of an incredibly stacked lineup that’s rounded out by acts like Morbid Angel and Thy Art Is Murder. The festival will take place over two days at Worcester, MA’s Palladium. Go here for ticket information. 



Coast To Coast: Sacramento, California To Richmond, Virginia

It’s me again, Nikki Knight your reviewer of all underground local music from both my home towns Sacramento CA and Richmond. When I’m not being sent to shows I like to go on my own and support my local bands just like I did back home in California. This time in my Coast to Coast review we will he discussing a hardcore power/memeviolence band and a slam band of apes that would slam you into oblivion.

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The aggression and the high voltage energy of Grindcore and Power violence, Slam Metal has been a big part of what attracts me to go see shows. D Beat blasts, and thrashy crowd killing riffs and all the different mixes punk and metal and thrash an in a fascinating way. Yes both are similar and both are different but in all the same the pits kick your ass! Well this time I’m here to bring you the best from Sac and RVA

Now these kids are very dear to my heart. When I first started booking shows, I was in awe of their filthy and offensive lyrics, their extreme, aggressive sound and the sheer insanity, they bring to any show they are on, made me proud to be their punk Mama. Alcoholic Sex Detonation. They are memeviolence and powerviolence and they are fucked up. They induce a riot like pit, that hurdles people into walls, and have people laughing due to the silliness and the depravity in their song titles and jokes. Their Lyrics are pretty messed up to but in just the right way. Their sound is amazing! Perfect vocals awesome riffs, and killer drums that may or may not split you in two. Their album It’s Not Rape If It’s Dead is one of my all time favorites. Not only do they have a great sound, but they have hilarious sound bites and skits, that can make you shit yourself if your not prepared. unfortunately they have been on hiatus. Still check out their facebook page and bandcamp so you can experience the awesomeness of ASD.

Now in RVA, we have an outbreak of killer apes that love to SLAM. BananaSlama is a band of 4 apes that somehow possess the power of slam metal. Their hardcore slam sound, crushes you as these apes scream, growl and make monkey noise. They speak English but sing in Simeon, but the music is killer, the monkey vocals are powerful and funny at the same time. You should not miss a live show, because they tear it up more than King Kong tears up a city.

Please checkout their Facebook page here and like, share and comment on this article and tell us who we should review next as I take both of my lovely cities ,Sacramento CA and Richmond VA, and expose them to music from both coasts. Please continue reading for more hardcore music news reviews and updates


Scumdogs of the universe and lords of chaos Gwar, attacked the stage at a sold Ace of Spades with an unbridled fury. Bringing the The Blood of Gods Tour, to a standing or squirming room only crowd, in downtown Sacramento, we were all in for a treat as they pummeled us with “War On Gwar”, the first track off the new record and closing the night out with their cover of the AC/DC classic “If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It”