Tag Archives: Alternative rock

Adventures in Jacksonville

This is another show I did with Alukard on the Jagermeister Tour with Pepper and Pennywise at Plush in Jacksonville, FL.  It’s amazing how you can influence crowds of people on a stage with a mic.  We told the crowd to put up the devil horns.  What do you know.  Everybody put them up.

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More Review Stuff

This was a review by the Miami New Times for the AlukarD project I was a part of.  If you don’t know of AlukarD it was this weird, rock, punk, hip hop thing I did with Level from Miami and a bunch other Sweet Water hooligans.  They’re great peoples and it was by far the most fun I had with any of my experimental projects.  To check out the AlukarD project you can go to the link below.



Alukard celebrates its debut full-length release at the Vagabond this Thursday

A A AComments (0)By Arielle Castillo Thursday, Feb 11 2010

After a seemingly endless heyday, rap-rock eventually became one of the most reviled musical artifacts of the end of the last millennium. But it’s been more than a decade since then. Fred Dursthas disappeared from everywhere except Twitter, and critical darlings such as Cage are starting to rhyme over guitars again. So the timing of Miami band Alukard’s debut full-length, One Shot, seems fortuitous. To lump it in with the crappy nu-metal-with-scratching of two decades ago, though, would be seriously wrong.

First, there is no DJ in Alukard, and the group’s style is more diverse than one might initially expect. The band members have dubbed it “305 rock,” and it’s a punk- and hardcore-fueled brew that still occasionally dabbles in ska, acoustic balladry, and even a touch of New Wave. Over all of this, a twin attack of MCs seems to barely control and egg on a joyous chaos.

One Shot is clearly the product of much labor and love. Released on the band’s own imprint, Labeless Records, it’s clearly conceived as a total package, an anomaly in today’s download-by-track music landscape. The disc weighs in at a for-these-times hefty 15 tracks, complete with an intro and an outro with a hidden track. The best ones are the most balls-out. Songs such as “44 Kaliber Love Letter,” “Molotov Cocktease,” and “The 5th” hinge on furious blasts of guitar stops and starts that crescendo into epic choruses and breakdowns; it’s the kind of thing you would want to listen to before an MMA bout.

The real stars here, though, are MCs Level and E. Grizzly, who have something Durst and company never had: quality rapping and flow. Level, aBrooklyn native who also plays rhythm guitar for the group, is particularly skilled, able to switch among Zack de la Rocha-style incantations, a soaring melodic croon, and a half-grizzled bark. (With that last voice, he would do well as a hardcore frontman.) Grizzly, meanwhile, hails from Philly and boasts a serious Northeastern flavor, floating in and out of the mix to keep the energy level maxed out. The band, too, is surprisingly tight; lead guitarist Stuntman Steve especially shreds, with a few searing, thrash-worthy solos.

Things occasionally slow down on One Shot, with a pseudo-love song in “On Our Way” and a strummy flight of stardom fantasy in “Just Maybe.” These are perfectly adequate but unnecessary: Alukard is best with its levels at 11. Hipster music this ain’t, but the band’s audible passion and dedication to its hometown might win you over in spite of yourself.

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Adventures in St. Pete

This was a show I did a little while back with AlukarD on the Jagermeister Tour.  We were opening for Pepper and Pennywise at Janus Landings in St. Petersburg, FL.  This was the biggest show I ever did at the time and there’s definitely a huge energy difference between performing in front of 100 people and 1,000 people.  You can feel it.  I’m not to sure what’s the scientific idea for feeling energy from a crowd of people but it definitely exists.  If you look at the first pic closely I’m the guy on stage underneath the “A” in Jagermeister.  You can see the happiness in my lil face.

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More Adventures in Miami

Some video of me playing synthesizer with Alukard in Miami.  My fro was massive at the time.

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Adventures in Memphis

This was off the last tour I did with AlukarD.  Level was dead set on breaking into Graceland.  I had to support his decision.  For more about AlukarD you can go to Alukard.com.

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AlukarD video shows proof of life

AlukarD was a band I played with when I was in Miami.  We did over 100 shows together all around the country and it was great.  Since then I  moved on to a bunch of solo stuff up in Philly and New York but I still got love for Level and everybody we played with.  A few people told me AlukarD is dead or AlukarD is over but no, no it’s not.  He is still breathing and proof of this is with this awesome video.  For some reason Vimeo is giving me problems with the HTML but you can click on the link to see for yourself.  There’s also a Newtimes article about it.  I’m in the pic for some reason.  Maybe it’s my ghost.  Props to Level and his future adventures in Cali.  As long as he’s alive AlukarD will still be there in the shadows ready to destroy your mind with song.

Behind the Scenes of Alukard’s Hot New Video

By Jose Flores Wed., Feb. 29 2012 at 8:57 AM
Categories: Local Music, Video

When Alukard‘s new video for “A Knight Out” gets seen outside of South Florida, the world is going to see the special way that we rock down here. The song is a sweaty mesh of Latin rhythms, hot guitar lixx, infectious melodies, and clever lyrics. But the visuals take Level and company’s sweet and heavy song to the next — wait for it — level.

The guys who make up the band don’t dress like rockers. Their jeans aren’t that tight, their hair isn’t coifed fancily; they look like the type of dudes your grandmother would be worried you’d get mixed up with at a bonfire on an empty lot. We’ve been fortunate enough to meet them, and despite their dangerous looks, we can vouch for them. They’d help your grandmother carry her groceries home, and she’d be inviting them over for coffee and snacks.

Alukard – ‘A Knight Out’ (OFFICIAL VIDEO) from de la Vega on Vimeo.

New Times: Where did you make this video?

Javier Ruiz, Chocolate Milk Photography, director of photography: The location was compliments of De Leon’s Bromeliads — an orchid and bromeliad nursery in Miami.

You said it took 15 hours and 15 cases of beer? What made it such a grueling/party-tastic experience?

Level, frontman: It was pretty crazy, but the long hours of footage required a lot of work and filming. The production team didn’t waste any seconds taking breaks, so we ravaged through beers that were hidden behind the music equipment. It was grueling but fun work when drunk.

Zaigone, drummer: We are all really happy with the footage, especially since the most shown band members are Big-D (née Zaigone) and Level. The two best-looking guys in the band, and the only two guys who are still in the band.

What made a grueling process? Nothing. It was an amazing experience. It was 100 percent pure adrenaline the entire shoot. We cranked the song and worked off the energy it gave us.

De La Vega, director: We had to slow down the track so that we could get the sped-up effect throughout the video. Having to record the song twice as long, a billion times [led to] an extra-long shoot.

What can you tell us about the footage that is on the cutting-room floor?

De La Vega : Cutting-room floor? Dead bodies, flying rabbits, and a new species of chupacabra. Unfortunately, we didn’t have them sign the proper paperwork, so we couldn’t use their faces on film.

The “hospital bill” lyric really stuck out — it paints a quick picture of the shitty economy — can you elaborate on what the bill is for?

Level: “Well, I lost my job and my dream got robbed, and I really can’t make no ends/Got a hospital bill weighing on me still/My boss went out and bought a Benz.” You can say it’s a take on the economic status of the country right now. Unfortunately, too many people can relate with this. We work our asses off, get laid off, while the cut makes sure the boss gets paid off.

Where’d you record the song?

Zaigone: The All-Mighty LABELESS Records studio. Sin, the founder and CEO, D the drummer, and various other shady characters put a whole lot of sweat and man-hours into building it from the ground up, Alukard started and made it as popular as it is; the sound there is incredible. A lot of love in that studio; that is why we sound how we sound.

How many vocal tracks did it take to make those sweet and rich harmonies?

Level: I always record about five vocal tracks with the each note of the chord sung out. Though, I usually use more.

Shoutout time!

Level: We want to give a shoutout to everyone who’s waited a long while to see this music progress. We are proud to have this video as our first release. Much respect to Cathartic Films and Chocolate Milk Photography for the great job!

Zaigone: I would like to add about six to seven zeros to the band and label’s bank account, but that’s up to the fans and bigger labels and, well, only time will tell.

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