Prince Daddy & The Hyena + Drug Church

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Prince Daddy & The Hyena + Drug Church

  • ALL AGES

Doors 6:00pm

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Date and time

Location

The Glass House 200 West 2nd St Pomona, CA 91766

Map and directions

How to get there

Performers

Headliners

  • Prince Daddy & the Hyena

More Performers

  • Drug Church
  • Anxious
  • Webbed Wing

Refund Policy

No Refunds

About this event

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PRINCE DADDY & THE HYENA – PD&TH BIO

It’s a very natural human phenomenon to be scared of death. Whether it’s the idea of your own impending doom that’s rattling around your skull or the mortality of those close to you, such thoughts are part of the curse of human consciousness. Yet for Kory Gregory, that fear was extreme. So extreme, in fact, that when Prince Daddy & The Hyena were in the middle of making this third full-length, the vocalist/guitarist of the Albany, NY band had to take some time out from, well, everything.

“I was really scared of dying for some reason,” he remembers. “I know being scared of dying isn’t irrational, but I had an irrational fear of it to a non-functional point. I actually went to a psychiatric hospital for a month in the middle of writing this record because of it.”

“You were afraid of it beforehand,” chimes in guitarist Cameron Handford, “and then we actually almost died. We were driving home from a tour and we just wanted to get home really bad. We’d driven through blizzards a million times before being from New York, so we just kept going and that was not the right idea – it was a 12-hour drive and everyone was really tired. One thing led to another and we slid off the road into a snow plough. The van looked like none of us should have survived it. It was pretty intense.”

That incident occurred in November 2018, right before the band – now completed by drummer Daniel Gorham and bassist Adam Dasilva – recorded their second album, 2019’s Cosmic Thrill Seekers. They’d already written that record, though, and besides, Gregory’s fixation with death hadn’t quite reached such debilitating proportions by that point. But little by little, it got worse and worse until it was overbearing and all-consuming. Unsurprisingly, then, the 13 songs that make up this self-titled third full-length are riddled with ruminations on life coming to an end.

“It’s all about my fear of death,” explains Gregory, “but not just for myself. It’s my fear of me dying, my parents dying, my loved ones dying, my fear of aging. My fear of mortality in the most loose, broad sense of the word. It’s the first time that it’s hit me as an adult, the first time that the impermanence of everything struck, and that sent me into a little existential spiral.”

To some extent, then, you could call this a kind of concept album, but it’s an accidental one – less intentional than a by-product of the morbid thoughts Gregory was having at the time manifesting themselves into songs by way of catharsis. But that, he clarifies, is just what always happens anyway when he writes.

“I feel like any record I write is going to be a kind of concept record,” he says, “because I have an obsessive mind and get caught up in something and just write. So everything I wrote in quarantine was about the same thing, about my fear of dying. It’s a snapshot of what I was going through when I wrote these songs.”

That said, there are some traditional concept record trademarks present on the album, including a recurring character called The Collector who crops up in different places throughout it. The Collector, says Gregory, is really just “depression or death in corporeal form”, the unimaginable fate that awaits us all personified. Ideally, Gregory wants the listener to imagine The Collector as the photo of his cousin that graces the cover album artwork.

“To me,” he says, “that photo is the essence of the record. When people hear me singing about the character on this record that isn’t me, I want them to picture that, because it’s a really fucking frightening image!”

Whether Gregory is relaying his fears more vicariously and allegorically though The Collector or in a more direct fashion, Prince Daddy & The Hyena delves deep into the heart of darkness at its core. In fact, penultimate song, “Black Mold” is a brooding, near-nine minute long lament in which the frontman revisits one of the bleakest times in his entire life to date. A song that chugs with the anguish of existence, it begins with a voicemail before slowly building into a layered, emotional slow-motion frenzy of redemptive guitars.

“I had a stint with depression that almost cost me my life,” explains Gregory, “and this song is the first time I ever wrote about it. It’s my favorite song that I’ve ever written, because I haven’t really thought about what happened or ever written about it since, but the end result is something that I’m super proud of.”

“And as for the voicemail,” adds Dasilva, “it was left by a friend of Kory’s who called Kory one night. Kory missed the phone call and then listened to the voicemail and was very worried because he sounded like he was drunker than ever before, and also borderline suicidal. Kory hadn’t talked to him for over a decade, but the whole night Kory is trying to call him back, freaking out that he missed his call, because he even called Kory’s mom, too. It definitely seemed serious. Eventually, Kory goes to bed and the next morning his friend texted him back and was like ‘Oh man, I’m sorry. I was so drunk last night!’”

“It was just like a funny blackout drunk thing,” says Gregory, “and I was like ‘Damn, dude. I thought you were fucking dead!’”

That blur between and juxtaposition of darkness and levity is something Prince Daddy & The Hyena have always done well, and the four-piece utilize that technique to maximum effect on this album. Recorded, like Cosmic Thrill Seekers, by Nick “Scoops” Dardaris – this time at the Barber Shop Studios in New Jersey – it constantly grapples lyrically with difficult subject matter, but ebbs and flows musically between those polar opposites. Opener “Adore The Sun” is, for example, a dreamy, almost-Beach Boys-esque blast of summer warmth, but is followed immediately by the ragged, raw breakneck punk of “A Random Exercise In Impermanence (The Collector)”. Other examples include the gorgeous, defiant melancholy of “Curly Q” being sandwiched between the spiky, jittery vibes of “Hollow, As You Figured” and “Keep Up That Talk”, or the glowering raw insistence of “Jesus Fucking Christ” preceding “Something Special”, a reworked song about Freddy Kreuger from Gregory’s Jophus solo project that’s been given a kind of 1950s-esque teen ballad reinvention. And then there’s the epic introspection of the aforementioned “Black Mold”, which gives way to the gentle, almost lullaby-esque closer “Baby Blue.”

“I kind of wanted this album to feel like a car crash,” admits Gregory. “I wanted it to feel like you’re getting whiplash going from song to song.”

“I think the record as a whole as a journey feels bittersweet hopeful in a way, ending with the very dark Back Mold and I feel a little bit like Baby Blue is something blooming out of nothing after the lowest point of the record.”

In other words: we’re all going to die, so we might as well enjoy the ride before we do.

That, perhaps, is also reflective of the band’s attitude. This current line-up – cemented when Dasilva joined last year – is, they say, the band’s “forever line-up”. It’s who they’ve always wanted to be and they’ve made the record they’ve been striving to make since forming in 2014. You can hear that chemistry, that magic, that synergy, all the way through.

“I feel like this was exactly what we wanted to do exactly how we wanted to do it for the first time,” beams Gregory. “Our heads are all in the same spots, which is probably the first time since we’ve been a band that that’s happened. Everyone in the band wants to be here and we’re all super stoked to be where we are doing this.”

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Drug Church is a band without fear. For the past ten years, the Albany and Los Angeles-based five-piecehave been staunchly creating their own singular path in making distinctly outsider music that’s somehowat once welcoming and instantly satisfying. The band’s songs revel in sonic contradictions, seamlesslycombining crushing aggression with bulletproof hooks, while the lyrics unflinchingly explore life’s darknessand discomfort with sardonic wit—and without judgement. On Hygiene, their impending fourth full-length,Drug Church is as uncompromising as ever, and it has resulted in their boldest set of songs to date. DrugChurch are still demanding that the listener comes to them, not the other way around, and with Hygiene,they just might.

With each successive release Drug Church—vocalist Patrick Kindlon, guitarists Nick Cogan and CoryGalusha, bassist Pat Wynne, and drummer Chris Villeneuve—have been pushing the seeminglyintractable elements of their sound further and further. Where their critically acclaimed 2018 album,Cheer, brought more melody into the band’s combustible music, Hygiene doubles down without losing anounce of bite in the execution. “Sometimes I say we make radio music that can’t be played on the radio,”Kindlon laughs. “I think it’s likeable but it’s also just not designed for mass appeal.”

Hygiene is in fact an incredibly appealing album despite being difficult to categorize—or perhaps becauseof it. Recorded with producer/engineer Jon Markson and clocking in at a lean 26 minutes, the recordmakes it abundantly clear that Drug Church aren’t content to rest on their laurels. Across ten strikinglydynamic songs, Cogan and Galusha alternate between massive riffs and some of the most unexpectedlymelodic guitar playing that has ever touched Drug Church’s music, while Villeneuve and Wynne’s rhythmsection unflaggingly shakes the ground. The band’s foundation in hardcore still provides plenty ofstagedive-inspiring energy, but even Kindlon’s signature roar has taken a tuneful turn with layered vocals,raw harmonies, and cadences hooky enough to have listeners shouting along after one listen.

While Hygiene is an undeniable leap forward for Drug Church, it’s not one made by some grand design.In fact, band’s writing process is refreshingly mystique-free: the instrumentalists simply hone the songsuntil they’re ready to show them to Kindlon, who offers “intentionally unhelpful notes” before writing mostof his lyrics under the gun in the studio. “The beauty that happens here is accidental,” he explains. “It’snot that musicians have some insight into the world, it’s just that by doing something in art you can tripover these transcendent moments—but you can’t endeavour to make them.”

It’s a fitting approach that’s also reflected in Kindlon’s lyrics, many of which deal with the relationshipbetween art and the people consuming it. There’s a blunt-yet-affecting quality that appears throughoutHygiene, as he walks a tightrope between observation, honesty, absurdity, frustration, and humor—allwith a willingness to question the messier parts of modern life that many would prefer to simply ignore.“Whatever milieu we’re living in right now is not one I was intended for,” he says. “The conversation is notasking us to personally challenge ourselves or try to better ourselves. It’s a push to be in other people’sbusiness and judge each other all the time. And I have no interest in judging strangers.”

Hygiene’s opening salvo of “Fun’s Over,” a sub-two minute blast of stomping punk, and “SuperSaturated,” a towering rock song led by one of the album’s most jaw-dropping riffs, finds Kindloncautioning against the lure of compromising one’s art for the sake of success, but then prodding at thevery idea of art made by a perfect person. On “Piss & Quiet,” he is quick to reject the role of the artistthemselves as any kind of meaningful spokesperson. “You can get a lot out of a song, you can get a lotout of music, but you can’t go to music for the answers in life,” he says, and while this might suggestsome kind of remove, it wouldn’t be a Drug Church record without more nuance than that. This is evidenton “Detective Lieutenant,” a mid-album standout that finds Kindlon examining the unbreakable connectionbetween art and the person it has moved. “My relationship with a song is the song, period,” he explains.“For me, if I look at a piece of art, and it’s enriched me, it’s hard for me to care about anything else.” It’sperhaps the most downright pretty sounding song that Drug Church has ever written, with interwovenshimmering guitars that build to Kindlon’s explosive refrain of “we don’t toss away what we love.”

While there’s a clear point of view running throughout Hygiene, Drug Church is here to move you, not tolecture you. On “Premium Offer,” Kindlon directly rebuffs the desire to dictate anyone else’s life (with helpfrom guest vocalist Carina Zachary of Husbandry). “It’s a pointless endeavor to let people into your lifewho do nothing but tell you how to conduct yours,” he says. “A lot of people would tell you how to live butthey don’t actually care if you live or not.” Instead Kindlon seems occupied by the finite time we have andhow best to spend it. Tracks like “Plucked,” “Tiresome,” or colossal highlight “Million Miles of Fun” mark arefusal to get wrapped up in inherently broken political constructs, self-pity, or the endless deluge ofuseless information coming at us at all times. “As you get older you realize you wasted a lot of time,” hesays. “You cared about dumb shit and by the time you realize this, you have less time.”

Hygiene feels less like it’s kicking against the clock and more like it’s embracing the reality of it. “At somepoint you have to admit to yourself that all your plans and goals are subject to the randomness of life,”Kindlon says. “But on the flipside, if you don’t have goals, how do you know where you’re going?” Onclosing track “Athlete on Bench,” Kindlon sings “I’m living between shrinking margins,” turning anacknowledgement of niche passions into an anthemic finale. That’s the quiet aspiration in Drug Church’suncompromising nature:it’s ambition on their own terms, a desire to simply be the absolute best at whatthey do. “There’s value in trying to be exceptional, at least in your own mind,” Kindlon says. “I’mexceptional at virtually nothing, but striving for it has given my life some purpose. Or at least it’s led me tothis hotel room in Denver on tour.”

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While crafting Anxious’ new album, Little Green House, the Connecticut five-piece were afforded a luxury so few bands are when making their debut album: time. With extensive touring plans halted and regular life on pause, the band—vocalist Grady Allen, guitarists Dante Melucci and Ryan Savitski, bassist Sam Allen, and drummer Jonny Camner—headed into Allen’s mom’s basement and reflected on each part of the material that would turn into their first record over and over again. The result is an artistic leap that, had the band’s plans to spend much of 2020 on the road actually been feasible, maybe wouldn’t have happened.

Formed in 2016 while members were still in high school, Anxious’ early releases were indebted to the urgent freneticism and heart-on-sleeve lyrics of post-hardcore acts like Texas Is The Reason, Samiam, and Turning Point, allowing Anxious to immediately grab the attention of the hardcore scene. The band’s DIY roots and dedication to craft were equally as essential to their rising profile—early releases were accompanied with band-dubbed cassettes, made-to-order zines, and even self-dyed shirts—each part of Anxious was laid out in meticulous detail from day one. Having almost immediately surpassed Allen’s modest ambitions of “playing a couple of shows,” Anxious quickly found a home on Triple B Records, gaining the attention and adulation of both the hardcore and emo scenes on the back of two seven-inch EPs and a pair of demos, getting them coveted spots on tours with genre-bending acts like Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, before landing on Run For Cover.

Named after the space in which the material was written, Little Green House sees Allen and Melucci exploring what it feels like to enter adulthood in unflinching detail. The pair unpack their struggles, joys, and hard-earned realizations in a way that makes them each feel wise beyond their years. “I think a lot of the record is a coming-to-terms, interpretive record about relationships with people and thinking introspectively,” says Allen. “I’m sure it’ll be a cliché very soon to say, ‘With all the time spent away, I was able to really think about things,’ but having that time ot sit and be introspective really does give you perspective on yourself, the relationships you have with other people, and that recognition that while you might all be interconnected—whether it’s your parents, your friends from high school, people you know through music—it’s bound to happen that you all have deeply individual and separate paths, and that’s okay.”

Recorded and produced by Chris Teti at Silver Bullet Studios, the diversity of perspectives on Little Green House is matched by the album’s ability to jump between sounds without ever feeling disjointed. The band’s commitment to their creative vision and exacting attention to detail is apparent, with Anxious going so far as to completely re-record the vocals until Little Green House was exactly the statement they wanted to make.

That devotion is clear from the very first notes of opener, “Your One Way Street.” Anxious sounds more deliberate than ever, with each riff pounding like a powerful declaration as Allen works through the emotions of watching one of his oldest friendships breaking apart, “I beg you, one last time as a friend / How did we get here and why does this have to end?” On “More Than A Letter” the band explores what it was like to watch a potential romantic relationship fall away because of outside pressures, and the energetic “Let Me” is a show of support from a child to a parent while watching them go through a painful divorce and features guest vocals from Pat Flynn of Fiddlehead. “I guess the idea behind the record is that coming to terms with who you are and accepting that,” says Allen. “Struggle, sadness, and pain aren’t necessarily negative things, but they are necessary things. There’s no shame or sadness put onto these feelings that you’re already experiencing. But there are positive, triumphant elements running through the album, too,” a feeling that’s best exemplified by the triumphant, and aptly titled, “Growing Up Song.”

While fans are used to Anxious’ infectious energy spilling into every song, the closing track “You When You’re Gone” shows a totally new side of the band. Where the raucous parts of the album recall Lifetime and Sense Field, this one’s pure dream pop bliss. Joined by vocalist Stella Branstool on the track, it gives Little Green House an expanded scope, one that showcases a band taking big swings and landing every single one of them.

“The goal wasn’t to create something that perfectly replicates a sound or an era,” says Allen. “It was just about us wholeheartedly trying to create something that felt distinctly like us and not worry for a second if it feels unfamiliar—we just wanted to create something that was unabashedly us.” On Little Green House, that’s exactly what Anxious did. They’ve made a record that captures the bittersweet feeling of returning to a place you grew up and realizing how the passing of time has changed you - a musical snapshot of who they were in an exact moment, and who they want to become now that they’re ready to move on.

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Following a decorated career with Philly rock group Superheaven, singer and guitarist Taylor Madison meanders into newly-refined songwriter territory with the inception of Webbed Wing in 2018. Joined by Jake Clarke (drums) and Mike Paulshock (bass), the band fully realizes their innate genre-blending musicality. Webbed Wing’s somewhat simplistic approach to songwriting explores what it means to birth a sad song without fully killing a mood, paired with a soundscape laden with nostalgia and a tasteful pop-rock resurgence. Taking notes from the likes of The Lemonheads and Teenage Fanclub, Webbed Wing encapsulates everything lyrically gripping about indie and everything vibrant about modern pop. While also expertly intertwining the heaviness of metal and the earnesty of country, the band blends all these different aspects of their craft into something highly palatable and new. Between early Webbed Wing releases, like 2019’s Bike Ride Across the Moon (Disposition Collective) and forthcoming recordings on 2021’s What’s So Fucking Funny? with Grammy-nominated producer Will Yip (Code Orange, The Menzingers, Mannequin Pussy, Circa Survive) via Memory Music Label (Bartees Strange, Anthony Green), there’s an obvious level up in production, honing in on Webbed Wing’s natural maturity as both an artist and a creative.