Get To Know:
We would like to welcome to the Ernie Ball family, grandson. The pseudonym of Canadian/American alternative artist Jordan Benjamin. He takes elements of his rock and roll, hip hop, and electronic music roots and combines them to tell stories of reclaiming power over one’s life, confronting social issues facing his generation, and opening up about struggles with addiction and mental health. Since releasing his modern tragedy EP series, grandson has toured extensively across North America, Russia, and Europe, accumulating hundreds of millions of streams online. Grandson has released his debut album, Death of an Optimist in 2020. This body of work conflates personal anxieties with political realities. As the protagonist, grandson simultaneously explores the dark underbelly of his unrelenting optimism for change, by creating an antagonist, X. An ambitious project, grandson delivers a subtle A-side/B-side structure totaling twelve tracks, following grandson and X’s dueling world views. Through DOAO, grandson delivers an overwhelming urgency to do something, Showcasing a conflicted soul for intense scrutiny while not dictating what is right or wrong. It just shows that we’re in this together.
Watch: “Dirty” Official music video.
Sounds Like: Badflower, Des Rocs, Barns Courtney
Get To Know:
Ben Cote has taken it upon himself to carry the torch of guitar players and bands like Van Halen, Slash, Motley Crue, and Aerosmith, all while barely being out of college. Ben and his band, The Ben Cote Band, have been making it a point to create original music bursting with energy, catchy choruses, song-driven riffs, and of course, enough guitar soloing to satisfy even the most intense shred nut. Unlike a lot of other acts trying to keep the rock alive, Ben is a product of Berklee College of Music, where he met his current bandmates and began writing. With a massive knowledge of music and plenty of energy to deliver it, Ben and his band have played alongside acts like Bret Michaels, Vince Neil, and Lita Ford. Check out Ben’s music and maybe snag a lesson or two from an artist we’re excited to keep our eyes on.
Watch: The official music video for “Hot Mess Express“
Sounds Like: Aerosmith, Van Halen, Warrant
Get To Know:
It’s very unlikely that the band Sum 41 is new to you since they broke through with their 2001 debut album, All Killer No Filler. The Canadian group landed a mega-hit with “Fat Lip” and an immediate follow-up single with “In Too Deep,” showcasing their energetic pop-punk songs that proved infectious beyond belief. What some may not know, is that the group is also filled with musicians who know how to combine heavy and fast riffs, dueling solos that would make any hair metal band jealous, and vocal themes and melodies that keep everything grounded, fresh, and honest. Although the band was known for their fun punk antics, their albums, now seven full-lengths deep, have grown more serious and oftentimes topical to things like war-torn Congo, politics, and personal struggle with addictions. The band also continued to lace their music with Metallica and Slayer-esque riffs alongside their mega choruses that earned them multiple awards and nominations including Juno Awards, Kerrang, and AP Music Awards, and a Grammy Nomination for one of their 2012 singles, “Blood in My Eyes.” With the return of shred monster guitarist Dave Baksh in 2016, the band now is an onslaught of guitars with lead vocalist/guitarist Deryck Whibley, guitarist Tom Thacker who joined during Dave’s departure, and now Dave Baksh on lead guitar. Rounded out by bassist Jason “Cone” McCaslin and drummer Frank Zummo, the band is going strong and keeping the punk/thrash/pop dream alive.
Watch: “45 (A Matter of Time)” official music video.
Sounds Like: Green Day, No Use For A Name, Anthrax
Gear: Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Slinkys and Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Cobalt strings, and Light Nickel 11-52 Custom Wound G electric guitar strings, Cobalt Power Slinky bass, and Regular Slinky bass strings, and Everlast Medium Light Phosphor Bronze acoustic guitar strings.