Tag Archives: rock

Oh the Horror: Local artists share their stories of bad timing, equipment glitches and wardrobe malfunctions

Eat your tell-tale heart out Edgar Allan Poe. Much like the monster in the closet, musicians must battle the technical glitches, flat tires and wardrobe malfunctions that go bump in the night.

Beyond the member-generated terror— it is a general consensus that girlfriends are never welcomed to band practice— horror stories plague bands, from the nationally known to the garage-band heroes. As post-hardcore outfit, Every Minute Can Kill, rockers, Beyond the Element, and alternative rock-ensemble, The World Outside, can attest, ghastly tales perpetuate more than dark and stormy nights.

In a Kingdom by the Sea

After finishing recording their album, “Get Your Groove On,” in Toms River, Vineland-based Every Minute Can Kill ventured to a nearby White Castle to replenish the calories that rocking out burns. While the band was listening to the rough mixes of their tracks— naturally with the music up and windows down— a rusted pickup truck, with no windows, matched pace with them. A mile or so later, after bearing the brunt of an angry onslaught of profanity laced death threats, the truck with the noted “skinhead” drove off, leaving Every Minute Can Kill with a tale that would do Poe proud. “He drove away and left us unscathed,” said Rich Williams, guitarist for the band. “But we still joke around that he almost ripped our old bassist, Frank, right out of the car.”

Beyond the Element’s Mike Badgley and Corey Presner at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia during their reunion show. Photo by Sara Jordan Reis

While the road is an assumed platform for nightmares, a venue’s stage is where a nightmare can quickly mutate into a full-blown terror. Factors such as equipment failure and nerves can dramatically affect a band’s performance. Unfortunately, for Jersey-born Beyond the Element, both demons have reared their ugly heads during their set.

“Our first show with Kevin— no offense Kevin— he played everything 30 times faster [than the rest of us],” said bassist and vocalist, Corey Presner with a laugh. “He played different music than us.”

When Beyond the Element’s drummer, Kevin Reardon, is not “playing different music,” he is busy destroying his drum set. During their set one evening, Reardon kicked a whole in his bass drum, forcing him to think fast. “That was fun,” said Reardon with a sigh. “I had to turn the bass drum around [in the middle of the song] and finish the show on the front of it.”

Quote the Raven

Much like a crowdsurfer materializing out of the audience and fulfilling the kicks-to-the-head quota every show-goer agrees to, band horror stories crop up unexpectedly, ambushing bands both internationally known and locally grown. Technical glitches, on-stage mistakes and van problems pepper the existence of any band, spreading panic in their arrivals; a panic rivaled only by that of a rookie show-goer when a M.O.S.H. pit opens up and the call for a “wall of death” echoes throughout the venue.

Transforming nightmares into, “One day we’ll look back on this and laugh,” local acts, Every Minute Can Kill, Beyond the Element and The World Outside face the fears that could fall the House of Usher with each set. After all, the show must go on.


Beyond the Element discuss their reunion and why they just couldn’t stay away from the stage

Beyond the Element: Bob Crowell, Corey Presner, Power, Mike Badglel and Kevin Reardon.

While St. Patrick’s Day brings the Irish out in everyone, those that weren’t witness to Beyond the Element’s set at World Café Live in Philadelphia that evening were certainly green…with envy. The local rock band, supported by other area acts such as, Carmen, Maddam Ink and Dive, provided the soundtrack for the evening. Irish jigs gave way to good old-fashioned headbanging and even The Blarney Stone held no sway in the environment of rock and roll.

The Deptford-based rock band, Beyond the Element, burnt up local stages, performing alongside national and notable acts including, Papa Roach, Apocalyptica, Skid Row and In This Moment. With a popular full-length album, a devoted fan-base and seemingly limitless talent, Beyond the Element were poised to take the rock scene by storm. Infusing every set with a contagious energy— one which has been scientifically proven to induce spontaneous movement of the head akin to whiplash— and drawing upon their influences, which span the spectrum from 90’s grunge to modern metal, Beyond the Element quickly positioned themselves as an essential element in the cornerstone of locally grown rock and roll.

A Walk Into Fire

Given their rising— or should I say skyrocketing?— popularity, professionally polished yet gritty sound and mainstream radio play, having songs featured on Philadelphia stations 93.3 WMMR and 94.1 WYSP, why did Beyond the Element call it quits, albeit for a short time?

Seven months ago, it appeared as if Beyond the Element’s own talent had outpaced its members. “It was just national act, after national act… It just skyrocketed,” the band’s front man, Bob Crowell, said.

“It just got hard to get people out to shows,” Kevin Reardon, the drum guru of Beyond the Element said, echoing Crowell’s sentiments. “It was emotionally draining on the band.”

A testament to Beyond the Element’s sincerity, however, the call of the stage became too much to ignore. After their half-year hiatus, BTE’s members, vocalist Bob Crowell, guitarists Mike Badgley and Power, bassist and vocalist Corey Presner and drummer Kevin Reardon, pieced the band back together.

Beyond the Element Come Home

Beyond the Element hit the stage of World Café Live, which played host to their reunion on March 17, never missing a beat; both figuratively and literally. It’s by no stretch of the imagination that Beyond the Element will continue to embody original, hard rock. With a sound that cannot be ignored, the Deptford band looks forward to more shows, new songs, a sophomore album— which may or may not be in “talks” as Crowell mentioned with a laugh— and, overall, having fun doing the thing they love, making music and burning up stages with an energy that mirrors a diffusing atom.

The alchemists of the music scene, Beyond the Element have resumed their position: turning the raw elements of song— notes, chords, beats and melodies— into music, which is nothing short of gold.

The above interview was conducted back-stage at World Café Live
in Philadelphia, post-set. 

Just a note: some strong language makes an appearance in the interview.
After all, you can’t censor rock and roll.

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