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Hurt w/ Smile Empty Soul and Black Oxygen @ Grant Street Dancehall
Grant Street Dancehall
Lafayette, LA
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Hurt w/ Smile Empty Soul and Black Oxygen @ Grant Street Dancehall

Alternative Rock


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The saying goes, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," which can neatly sum up the career thus far of the Los Angeles, CA-based quartet, Hurt. Having survived line-up shifts and a split with their former label, Capitol Records, the group  which is comprised of J. Loren (vocals), Paul Spatola (guitar), Rek Mohr (bass), Michael Roberts (guitar), and Victor Ribas (drums)  has returned with their strongest and most musically varied release yet, 'Goodbye to the Machine' (which was produced by the band themselves, and will be distributed by A2M and released via Amusement Records).

To back up a bit, the Hurt story begins in 2000, when the group originally formed in Virginia, before ultimately relocating to the west coast. Along the way, the group has issued four albums, 2000's self-titled debut, 2003's 'The Consumation,' 2006's 'Vol. 1,' and 2007's 'Vol. 2,' and have toured alongside some of rock's biggest names, including Staind, Three Days Grace, Alice in Chains, Seether, and Breaking Benjamin, among others. Hurt has also spawned several popular rock radio anthems, including "Rapture," "Falls Apart," "Ten Ton Brick," "WARS," and "Numbers."

"So, we found ourselves off the road, off our labeland we decide to go into the studio and make a new record anyway," explains J. "With not a lot of money, I locked myself in a rehearsal studio in Burbank, and started working on some tunes. Simultaneously, Paul, who was staying in Santa Clarita, was working on tunes, and we were trading off. It was an interesting way to make an album. We wrote the album in about a month, and then we cut the album in about a month. If that wasn't enough, we tried to do it with one hand behind our back, and did it with an analog recording processjust to basically say that we did!"

But as J. previously mentioned, 'Goodbye to the Machine' was recorded in a different manner than their earlier releases. "We had this idea of doing a record 'the old school method'," adds Rek, "As opposed to the previous two records, that had been recorded to Protools  as almost all records are done nowadays. What we wanted to do was go back to our roots, and show a different side of the band  not so much hide behind layers and layers of production. We wanted to write songs that stood more on their own and to record them to analog tape, using analog gear. Some of the tunes on the record were written at four in the morning at our manager's house on acoustic guitars. We ended up getting about 18 songs done and narrowed it down to the 14 we liked the best. J's lyrics are very poignant and honest  he has such a unique way of saying things. I don't know how he does it. As far as this record goes, the band is very musically diverse. No two songs sound a like on this record. It's three very different contributors, so the songs are very diverse. Also, we use a lot of violin and piano, which is common in rock, but not as pronounced as we used it."

With the new release comes quite a few tracks that will undoubtedly soon become Hurt classics, including such standouts as "Pills," "Dreams Away," and "Fighting Tao." But it is the lead-off single from 'Goodbye to the Machine' this is already turning heads at radio stations coast to coast - the all-encompassing epic, "Wars." J. also offered some insight behind the song. "I certainly do not want to preach to people, and I certainly do not have a particular political view. Some people could misunderstand some of the songs, but I assure people, that I'm not going to tell them what to think. For instance, the song 'Wars,' I'm already getting what I expected  people are used to artists doing the whole peacenik thing. But the fact is I worked as an aircraft consultant, and I made jets to blow the shit out of people. It's not like I'm a complete pacifist, I'm saying, it's a damn shame that people have to do this. It's a generalization of things."

Another track that will surely garner attention with rock fans is "World Ain't Right," which features Shaun Morgan of Seether. "Shaun did me a solid on this one  I had been hounding him

Smile Empty Soul

Alternative Rock

Smile Empty Soul have just completed recording their long awaited 3rd release titled "Consciousness" with producer Eddie Wohl (Jesse Malin/Anthrax/Ill Nino) and mixed by Jay Baumgardner (Evanescence, Three Days Grace, Godsmack,Papa Roach) This release is a strategic partnership between Smile Empty Soul's own MRafia Label and the newly formed F.O.F. Label Group/EMI Music
After reaching the heights of the music biz with their self titled debut album certified Gold and driven by the smash single, "Bottom Of A Bottle," the band went on to play over 250 shows packing venues from coast to coast.
" Concsiousness is the best record we've ever done" says lead vocalist and guitarist Sean Danielson.

Black Oxygen


The American Dream is alive and well and rocking in the heartland of America, Kansas City. This is the story of four young rockers living the dream together. The band is Black Oxygen and their mission is simple, play good ole rock n' roll with a young man's swagger.
The band is comprised of four uniquely individual members that happen to be all best friends. Their friendship was formed before they...See More



Grant Street Dancehall (View)
113 West Grant Street
Lafayette, LA 70501
United States

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