BY CHARLOTTE ALEXANDER | Go Venue Magazine
Feels Like I’ve Been Bitch Slapped By A Violent Metal Wave:
Bring it! – Rome isn’t burning, but there is a worldly timebomb waiting to explode that could leave headbanging craters in stadiums around the globe.
They did more than write an Anthem. They revived a familiar tribulation, crossed a sea to assemble, and are about to present themselves, without mercy, to an awakening audience with a very distinctive and nautical knot of endurance & the imaginative, technical sticks of a drummer, who won’t really be needing any kind of introduction soon: Garf Redden.
Welcome to the metal arena One Day Alive. They’re Bringing on The Pain and waving a Black Friday banner, releasing their first single on November 25th.
Prepare for an annihilation of silence and a brutal clashing of soundwaves to the unrestrained pillars of metalhead support from Norway to Ohio. These guys rock. These guys mean it. And they play with fire.
Metal is the one place the woke mob hasn’t infiltrated yet, and there’s absolutely no reason for them to. If they were to attempt that march, a battle cry of Garf’s abrupt pausing war drums, blasting behind Viking Vocalist Randy Webb’s rallying lyrics, pretty much fires off a warning shot that, to me, says: ‘if you come to form a mutiny against the cultural influences of metal aggression, you might as well just stay home.’
Originally meant for Josey Scott, former lead singer of Saliva, the rough scratch of the song So Alive ended up on the One Day Alive ship and navigated its way into the studio, where revisions were made and the Anthem was reborn. It may have been created as an answer to a question that hasn’t really been asked… “Where’s all the freedom killing ‘Karens bitching about the metal world?’ Not that they are invited, but the metal response will be brash and bold. No one needs to be restricting the words a musician chooses to use.
Well, this isn’t the woksters domain, and if they ever do try to storm the metal marina, just go ahead and hoist So Alive up to loud speakers in a towering mast, turn it up to like, 13, & let them take from it what they will.
The tall ship of excitement is built by Saving Abel guitarist Jason Null. He cast a net over a few talented Ohio rockers and swung them over the bow to produce, write, perform with, and mentor a skeleton crew of interesting souls, to form a rocking sound.
Null is the acting anchor in the formation of One Day Alive’s debut album, due in the spring, and this warrior hymn has been modernized, reconstructed, strung up and ‘Nulled up’ with his colossal chords and twisting iron grinds.
An expected 2023 So Alive release into the unknown won’t be the maiden voyage on the band’s debut album, but it will be a shining ship on the horizon. You’re gonna know it’s there! Be pretty interesting if this is the second single to come firing off the deck, six weeks after the first one.
Those directions will come from the management team of SMG Captain Jeff Hanson, who commands a fleet that includes such tradewind wave-making commodores as Sevendust, Alter Bridge, Paramore & Creed, Pop Evil, & Three Days Grace.
Spirited producers Skidd Mills, Malcolm Springer & Rick Andress throw the ropes of experience behind the construction of this vessel.
So, there’s weight behind the cannons that are bound to set a metal sea of global fans on fire.
It isn’t exactly cryptic, and there’s a treasure trove of distorted bass gems coming off of former fireman Scott Ryan, who only enhances Garf’s relentless force. He may have put out fires in his former life, but Ryan isn’t subdued in his deliveries. You can hear the embers igniting in very controlled and deliberate vibrations that just bounces against the backdrafting sparks of the shared metal wire exchanges of Null and Italian guitarist Tony Russomanno, who slings his sword while he pours molten buckets of play on the high seas. This ship is going to find its island.
The beauty of freedom of expression is that interpretation is attached to a flag that can fly in any direction. They let the mystery reveal itself to the individual.
“Each song plays a role in a part of an art piece when combined with multiple chapters, setting different moods to tell a story,” Null said. “And if we did it correctly, the listeners create their own plot.”
Sailing across a stage is Randy Webb. With Norwegian roots, he was raised by his immigrant parents on the Cincinnati, Ohio landscape, and hasn’t stopped scraping the chains of his metal vocal chambers from the pit of his soul ever since. He’s due for a Norway destination because his eyes haven’t set on those shores since he was 11-months old and there’s some people over there he’d like to meet.
“I have family there,” Webb said. “Haven’t been there since I was a baby, but it’d be cool to experience that, at some point.
“We wanna drop the first one, get the fists in the air. Everybody does a little bit of writing here. We’re ready to GO!”
Garf was a 10-year-old roadie in San Diego for his father’s metal band Teaser. He watched his dad play alongside the guitarist Jake E. Lee, who then left the group to go play for Ozzy Osbourne.
“I was a drum tech as a kid and the guys from Ratt, Ronnie James Dio grew up in the music world with my dad and they’d come over,” Garf said. “I went to bed listening to ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ I worshiped my father and he was the lead singer in the band in the 80s. I looked at these guys and I knew ‘that’s what I wanna do when I grow up.’ I was born that way. My dad wore spandex with the big hair music. There was no other option for me. Everything was music. If I got in trouble, I wasn’t allowed to play drums or listen to my Walkman.”
Garf’s midwestern transfer had him hitting the skins for some cover bands and he played for Tommy Two Tone, becoming a weekend warrior, flying out to shows and heading back home, where he resides, near Webb, in Ohio.
“I was always a hard rock, metal drummer,” Garf said. “I’m a musician, more into music. It just comes from that place of being that kid with a headset on. I’m not a lyric guy. I hear the melodies. My dad was a singer, but I never listened to what he had to say. I was more into the bass and drums running off the guitar. I love a lot of abrupt stops, where it’s like a movie, everything gets quiet, and you know something big is coming. Randy’s voice can go from a ballad to heavy screaming, rocking a very good range. He can change up and down, very emotional. He’s been through a lot and you can hear it in his voice, see it in the way he moves around onstage. You have to experience it in person to understand what you’re hearing.”
Garf said Webb was a little kid, coming to his shows in Cincinnati and was inquisitive, wanting to absorb the sounds.
“I’ve known him since he was little,” Garf said, who was booking acts in clubs around the city.
“He opened up for my band, (a decent band in Cincinnati, at the time), and here’s these 14 & 15-year-old kids. When we did our set, they were all there in the front row, straight out of the garage and into that show. It was their first show ever.”
Garf said he stayed the next night to watch them, the second show they ever did and they did a ‘Super’ good job.
Years went by and the drummer reflects on Webb’s driven ambition. “This young, skinny kid came up to me, started asking me questions, like he should do. He gave me his contact info and I was booking everybody, as an agent and a musician, at the same time. I made them the number two band in the tri-state, under us.
“I took their money,” Garf laughs.
The musicians bonded into brotherhood and Garf became a musical mentor to Webb. When advice is given, it’s the truth, not what his friend Randy might just want to hear.
About a year and a half ago, Webb had been filling up venues with an acoustic show doing cover songs, before he dove head first into creating his own material.
He called Garf, insisting that he hear a song that he felt may have some potential. The drummer told his friend he was at Walmart. Impatient in his desire to receive his buddy’s feedback, Webb drove straight to meet him in the parking lot of the chain.
Webb brought his phone and played a demo version he did at a studio in town.
“The melodies, harmonies are good, killer bridge, the song has something,” Garf said.
Weeks later, Webb asked if Garf could come and do “real drums” on the song and that it was going on an album.
“Went in there and laid it,” Garf said. “One or two tracks, and as I’m doing it, I’m thinking ‘you’ve got something here.’ Maybe we need to shop this single out.”
The parking lot plotting led to Garf becoming the full-time drummer in Webb’s band.
The song is called Nowhere and this track defines some impressive guitar work that just rips across Webb’s ballad like razer shards on a tide, and it just may go from what others might, at first, perceive as a hidden sleeper, to its own conquering cell.
Didn’t expect it to be so damn good. Webb softens his range and haunts an audience into the hull, until you’re just lost on the journey, and it’s well within reach of charting its own course, and not without an explorable route towards a commercial destination.
The songs were coming, the musicians were in place, and with Null’s ever guiding wings, thunder would soon be rolling out of Cincinnati.
Adding to the arsenal for a first-time album that was created by the band, before joining SMG, this is them at the helm. It’s their boat. The guys were signed a few months ago, and this project has only been enhanced with Null’s navigational skills and musical contributions. You notice it. Null carries the load well, but doesn’t overshadow what the band created. Stringing in adventurous rhythms and pull-backs and releases, it’s detailed work and flows into a sword that dances on the stern of its craft.
There’s interesting material here, and revolving repeats bring new discoveries each time it plays.
A tribulation rising from the depths, Null handed over Addicted Again, which is an addendum to Abel’s Addicted, nearly 15 years later, and it’s season two of a ghost ship that sailed up the charts from his first job as Abel’s lead guitarist.
“The idea for that song came about right after we had success with Addicted,” Null said. “It became an inside joke, all we had to do was write ‘Addicted’ again.”
Null said he began building the pieces in 2018, for a record that was never released.
“Randy and Garfield heard it and knew I would not release it, so I offered it to them,” Null said. “It seemed to fit One Day Alive. I could already hear Randy singing it. They liked it, so we recut it.”
It’s a strategic tale that revives another chapter to a story that wasn’t finished and the result should increase interest in Saving Abel’s entire body of work.
These guys aren’t just Bringing On The Pain on Black Friday. They bring it home and stream this vessel on all planking platforms for an audience that should have no trouble finding them on the metal map.
Their first single can be interpreted in many different ways.
It will mean something different to everyone who hears it.
Maybe it’s an ode to how the whole world has been feeling, in every country, across the board, after two years of lockdowns from what may have actually been an exaggerated panic to a global virus that didn’t have the fatality rate that was expected. People died, but not everyone was vulnerable. Loss happens everyday, in a variety of ways, and risks are lined up against us, at every turn.
To the idea that more financial, isolating and desperate times could stall efforts of repairs, the attitude that more waves could swallow what’s left of people’s resolve is unfounded. Everyone is ready to get back to life.
This first single could be a metal scream to deal with whatever lies ahead on the ocean of unpredictable waters.
“Bringing On The Pain” gives us the resilience to toss the broken oars into the sea and scream: Bring It!
Overseas venues are opening back up and All musicians are gearing up to take their places back on those dusty stages.
This single releases that angst and frustration while tempering a steely resolve that “more pain” – in any form, will be met with a Twisted Sister metal mentality. The world isn’t going to take any more bullshit lying down.
The melodic flow of Webb’s aching vocals, the experienced blows of Garf’s brutish drums, the insistence of those vibrating strings from the bass & the guitars, they’re ready for the ocean of unknowns and what lies ahead.
One Day Alive is heading out on an adventure of a tide-rising metal ocean with a touring schedule to promote the album next year.
They’ll find their True North and reach their destination.
X marks the spot!