Entries tagged with: Joey Z

2 result(s) displayed (1 - 2 of 2):

Life of Agony

Since vocalist Mina Caputo (who was known as Keith Caputo at the time) first left Life of Agony, shortly after the release of 1997's Soul Searching Sun, the band have reunited more than once, but usually just to play shows (which are always heavy on the material everyone loves from their classic first album River Runs Red).

Their big January 2003 reunion shows at Irving Plaza were especially glorious for the band and fans, though the excitement for many was short lived. In 2005 they released a new album called Broken Valley on Epic Records. It wasn't very successful, they were dropped from the label, and many fans were left with a bad taste in their mouth.

They didn't go away though and 2014 was an especially great year for them. Still with the complete original lineup, made even more complete with the fully transitioned Mina Caputo, their shows have been especially great again (two in their hometown of Brooklyn included). I guess it's not too surprising then, that Life of Agony will again give new material a try.

A Place Where There's No More Pain will hit sometime this year via Napalm Records, their first new material in over 10 years.

And now the band has come back to stay, as they are about to continue touring the world and release their 5th studio album, the first in over a decade, since 2005's Broken Valley.

Bassist Alan Robert comments: "I think our fans know that our music comes from a very real place of suffering, from all of us in the band. Many of our fans have told us over the years that sharing our personal struggles has been cathartic for them in healing the pain in their own lives. That uplifting energy we share at the shows, gives us hope that there's light at the end of the tunnel. And for us and hopefully our fans, that short time when we're all together is a place where there's no more pain."

"Life Of Agony is without a doubt one of the most exciting and energetic Rock bands of our times. It is an honour to work with such talent, we are excited to announce their signing to Napalm Records and release the band's first album after over a decade." states Thomas Caser, CEO of Napalm Records, about the recent signing with legendary LIFE OF AGONY.

No word yet on more U.S. shows, but we can assume this means there will be some of those on the way. They just played one at Starland Ballroom in early December. Check out a Scott Weiland tribute they did and more videos from that Mina birthday show, along with a bigger version of the new cover art (presubaly designed by bassist and comic book artist Alan Roberts), below...

Continue reading "Life of Agony announce a new album"

photos by Tim Griffin

Life of Agony

The band was formed in the summer of 1989 by singer Keith Caputo, bassist Alan Robert and guitarist Joey Z. After playing with several drummers, they enlisted Type O Negative drummer Sal Abruscato before recording the debut album River Runs Red (1993) after they signed to Roadrunner Records.[Wikipedia]
River Runs Red (and the demo that was out before it) was a major album for me growing up. Unlike Pixies' Doolittle (which I got into years after its original release), I remember the day River Runs Red came out. So, there was no way I was passing up the chance to see the Brooklyn band perform it in full to celebrate their 20th anniversary, even if they chose to do it in New Jersey. Why mention Doolittle? Because I saw the Pixies perform it in full just five days earlier.

I arrived at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville around 9pm on Saturday night (11/28). That meant sitting through two of the four local openers which was good because it gave me time to talk to friends. The show sold out in advance and the place was packed. Shaved/bald heads, tattoos, and muscles were in abundance. I knew it was going to get rough when LOA finally took the stage at 11:00, and that's exactly what happened as the band immediately broke into "This Time", the first track off "River Runs Red".

Starland has raised back and side areas, but the majority of the 2200-capacity room is the floor area and the pit broke out from the front to the back. There wasn't any stagediving (the occasional crowd surfer), but you did need to watch out for fists and 400 pound shirtless men occasionally barreling towards you. Fists were also constantly in the air and everyone knew all the words.

Without much stage banter, the band played the entire album. They were full of energy and completely on point, Keith's vocals included. They even played the taped skits that happen at the beginning, middle and end of the concept album ("Monday", "Thursday" and "Friday").

Produced by Type O Negative keyboardist Josh Silver, River Runs Red was the work of songwriter Alan Roberts (bass/backing vocals/lyrics), Keith Caputo (vocals), Joey Z (guitar) and Sal Abruscato (drums), four kids from Brooklyn with the kind of personal lives that make you wonder how they even got out of bed in the morning, much less made one of the most definitive underground records of the early '90s. But who'd have guessed they were total Floyd nerds? For a band that was ostensibly associated with the NYC hardcore scene, Life of Agony weren't really much of a hardcore band. Keith Caputo is an actual singer with an impossibly mighty voice; Joey Z's full-metal solos are straight from the Kirk Hammett school of amphetamine-shred, and Alan Roberts wrote the kind of hard-knock concept record--at age 20--that most 30-year-old prog-rock dorks couldn't dream up in their most vivid Jim Carroll fantasy-headaches. [Decibel Hall of Fame]
After River Runs Red they left the stage for a bit and came back to finish off the night with six songs from their later albums. Unfortunately those six songs felt like a downer after the first part of the show. The energy in the room lowered - I even walked to the front with minimal fear of getting a broken nose.

They started the encores with "Other Side of the River" off 1995's Ugly which, as the title of the song even suggests, was a good segue into the later material. Then came two sort-of-blah songs off 2005's post-reunion, major-label-attempt-at-being-a-band-again Broken Valley. Keith dedicated one of those, "The Day He Died", to his parents (RIP) (I was hoping to hear the similarly themed "Time to Pretend").

They closed the whole show with "Lost at 22" (or "Lost at 35" as Keith changed the lyrics to at least once in the song) , but not until after a slight interruption from family and friends. There was a cake on stage, "20 girls from the audience" (I think they were even embarrassed), champagne, and a bunch of speeches.

They're not performing the album again (that I know of), but you can catch LOA at Highline Ballroom in NYC on December 15th. More pictures and the full NJ setlist below...

Continue reading "Life of Agony played 'River Runs Red' @ Starland Ballroom, NJ - pics & setlist"