On Stage (Extra): Cold Roses evolve into Philly powerhouse

By Denny Dyroff, Staff Writer, The Times

Cold Roses

Warm weather has arrived in the area this weekend – and so has Cold Roses.

Cold Roses is a Philadelphia-based band that will be performing a hometown show at the Summer Kickoff Music Fest on June 3. The show is in support of the band’s upcoming CD, “Escape to Anywhere,” which will be released on July 21 on Recorded Records.

The one-day festival will run from 3 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Dockside Bar at Dave & Busters (235 North Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, www.daveandbusters.com).

The line-up of performers includes Cold Roses, Siravo, 1FM, Zymotic Flow, Yeah Son, Dead:Stop, Audio Impulse, Delmont, Chad Jenkins, D. S. Bradford and Good Look,Sigourney.,

Cold Roses’ roster includes Rob Clancy (singer-songwriter-guitarist), Matt Keppler (bass), Robby Webb (drums), Dan Finn (keyboards), Rick Rein (trumpet) and Tom Petraccarro (saxophone).

“We started the band a couple years ago,” said Clancy, during a phone interview Wednesday morning from his home in Center City Philadelphia.

“I had been playing in a lot of other bands with our drummer. In the last few, I was feeling really stifled. I had been writing songs but not performing them.

“So, I just decided to branch out on my own and give the singing thing a shot. I called some friends to put a band together. That was in late 2012.

“A friend of ours was a bar manager at Marmont in Olde City and he gave us gigs. We played there every week and occasionally on weekends.

“We were playing covers and a few originals and I was playing acoustic guitar. We recorded an EP in Georgia with the original line-up.

“The band has a lot different line-up now. Shortly after that EP, the guitar player left and I decided to try a keyboard player instead of a second guitar. We also got a new drummer at that time.

“The chemistry was good and we were growing as a band. Around that time, WMMR named Cold Roses as ‘Artist of the Month.’  They put us on a show at Legendary Dobbs.”

Cold Roses went through a little shift at that point in the band’s career.

“For the Dobbs show, I knew we had to turn it up,” said Clancy. “I was listening to Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and other Stax music. So, I decided to add a horn section to our band.

“I knew a sax player — Tom Petraccarro – and our drummer was friends with a trumpet layer — Rick Rein. So, we got both of them to join the band.

“After the Dobbs show, we started playing a lot of other clubs in the city like North Star Bar, Grape Room, MilkBoy and Tritone.”

The band quickly developed a buzz.

“Then, WMMR gave us ‘Artist of the Month’ again in 2015 — and a spot in the line-up for the WMMR Barbecue Concert,” said Clancy. “That was the time when we released our first album ‘No Silence in the City.’

“We recorded that album at Miner Street Studio in Philly. It was self-produced. For the new album, we went to Cactus Studio in L.A.’s Laurel Canyon and had David Holman as our producer.

“With the first album, we had already developed the songs by playing them live. On the new album, the songs were put together in the studio.”

Cold Roses will preview songs from “Escape to Anywhere” at the Summer Kickoff Music Fest in Philadelphia on June 3 and at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware on June 15.

According to Clancy, “The song ‘Escape to Anywhere’ really encompasses the album. It’s about that feeling of always wanting to be somewhere else, but maybe not really being sure of exactly where you want to go.

“This band has definitely been shaped by where we’re from. Philly has an underdog quality, and it also has such a rich R&B and jazz heritage. It’s a town with a lot of heart that doesn’t put up with bullshit. And, it’s a working-class town with a strong work ethic.”

Video link for Cold Roses – https://youtu.be/yQMukM0cZiQ.

The show at Dave & Buster’s will start at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Biters

According to the urban language meanings, “Biters” is a term applied to people who can’t formulate any of their own good ideas, so they steal ideas from those around them.

In the music world, Biters means something entirely different.

The band Biters is a hard-rocking quartet from Atlanta that has plenty of good ideas and great licks that are all original.

Listeners can hear influences of bands such as T.Rex, AC/DC, Slade, Joan Jett, Cheap Trick and David Bowie. Biters use these influences as inspiration rather than as sources to copy.

On June 3, Biters, who have played the area numerous times over the last few years, will return to Philadelphia for a show at The Voltage Lounge (421 North Seventh Street, Philadelphia, 215- 964-9602, www.facebook.com/Voltagelounge).

The band  — Tuk Smith, Joey O’Brien, Philip Anthony and Matt Gabs — is touring in support of its new album “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be.”

“We recorded the new album in October after doing a lot of pre-production work,” said Tuk, during a phone interview Friday afternoon from a tour stop in Baltimore, Maryland.

“I spent a lot of time writing a bunch of songs for it. We recorded the album with Dan Dixon at a studio in Atlanta called RCRD Studio.”

Tuk is the band’s founder and front man.

“We’ve been together for eight years,” said Tuk. “Other than me, there is only one original member left – the drummer Joey. I started the band and asked him to be in it. We’re both from Atlanta.

“Making music is just what I like. I don’t really know anything else. We make our own style of music. ‘Alt Rock’ plays acts like Lorde and Imagine Dragons and we’re not there. The way the music business has changed, I don’t know if Nirvana would break now.

“When we started, we put out a bunch of EPs and then the ‘Electric Blood’ album in 2015. I was in the studio recording songs for a self-released EP. Then, we got an offer from Earache Records. They found us on Spotify.”

Tuk is also the band’s songwriter.

“The way I write songs depends,” said Tuk. “A lot of the time, I’ll know I want to use a certain drumbeat or vibe. Sitting down and writing from scratch just doesn’t work for me.

“Power pop is probably my favorite music. I get influences from all kinds of music – but mostly pop. My heart is there. With the new album, I just wanted to write stuff people could relate to.”

Video link for Biters – https://youtu.be/slBjGh00Yec.

The show at Voltage Lounge, which had Frankie & The Studs as the opening act, will start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the door.

Okilly Dokilly

If you just listened to Okilly Dokilly’s music and never saw any images of the band, you would expect to find a group of heavily- tattooed, grizzly characters dressed in all black with hair below their shoulders.

The music has all the force and impact you’d expect from top American metal bands or Scandinavian deathcore groups – all the way down to guttural screamed vocals.

On the flip side, if you just saw a picture of Okilly Dokilly – five guys wearing sweaters over collared shirts and wire-rimmed spectacles…with four of the five sporting short hair parted on the side and small, neatly-trimmed mustaches – you might expect a Christian Rock vocal group.

If you want to experience the way Okilly Dokilly simultaneously sends very different messages to your brain – visually and aurally — check out the band when it brings its “Howdilly Doodilly Tour” to Reverb (1402 North Ninth Street, Reading, 610-743-3069, www.reverbconcerts.com) on June 4.

Okilly Dokilly is a metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona that plays what it calls “Nedal” music — a subgenre of metal music themed around the animated character Ned Flanders from the television series The Simpsons.

All five of the band’s members perform dressed as Flanders, and the majority of the lyrics to their songs are quotes of his. The band members go by the names Head Ned, Bled Ned, Red Ned, Dead Ned and Cread Ned. The unusual concept behind the group has resulted in worldwide attention.

In November 2016, Okilly Dokilly released its Billboard-charting debut album “Howdilly Doodilly.” Recently, the bespectacled five-piece dropped the official music video for its single, “White Wine Spritzer,” and it has already surpassed two million views.

In 2017, the band’s first personnel change happened when original guitarist Stead Ned and original bassist Thread Ned departed the group. New members Cred Ned and Dead Ned have since joined the band’s line-up.

“It all started with drummer Bled Ned,” said Head Ned during a phone interview Tuesday afternoon from Monroeville, Pennsylvania prior to the band’s show that night in Pittsburgh.

“He wanted to come up with a heavy metal band with a silly name and Okilly Dokilly came up. Then, we thought – what if the front man dressed as Ned Flanders.  And then, we thought – what if the whole band dressed as Ned Flanders.

“We came up with the name because it’s one of Ned Flanders’ catch phrases. Our music centers around one of the friendliest characters on television fronting a band with angry music

“The idea came up in 2014 and we worked on the idea for a whole year – figuring out how we’d set it up. It was a side project. We weren’t adamant about a time deadline. That’s why it took so long to come together.

“We were playing in different indie/alt-rock bands. The band me and the drummer were in was compared to Weezer. This was a unique opportunity to branch out into a totally different genre.”

So, the five musicians went from average-looking indie-rock artists to nerdy-looking, mustachioed hardcore metal rockers.

“It was a little difficult to change how we played,” said Head Ned. “Screaming vocals was like a different instrument to try. Fortunately, the way that I scream doesn’t push on the vocal chords too much.

“We’re still constantly improving what we’re doing. It became our full-time gig three months ago.

“Making the video for the new single was a lot of fun. We re-created the Simpsons’ living room and then destroyed it while drinking wine spritzers. It was a long shoot – 9 a.m.-6 a.m. – but it was a really fun time. In two weeks, it hit a million views. We expected maybe 20,000.

“The album was recorded about a year ago. We were all still working day jobs so for three months we went into the studio every Saturday and Sunday.

“Prior to this tour, we had only done a few live shows in Arizona and San Diego – a short tour after the album was released back in November.”

Now, the band is heading down the home stretch of a 40-show tour that started on April 25 in Santa Cruz, California and arrived in the Northeast a week ago. The tour will conclude on June 10 – fittingly in a Missouri town called Springfield.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey there are currently 34 populated places in 25 states named Springfield throughout the United States, including five in Wisconsin. Additionally, there are at least 36 Springfield Townships, including 11 in Ohio.

The Simpsons’ home town is Springfield which, according to the show’s producers, is intended to represent “Anytown, USA” and not be a specific real town.

Video link for Okilly Dokilly — https://youtu.be/2BEvh6HSQc0.

The show at Reverb has a long list of opening acts – Beatallica, Bodies in The Lake, Decryer, Compound Theory, Turncloak, Supernova and Anatomy of an Outcast – and will start at 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

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