Raven Black | BIOaternative metal/hard rock
Meet Raven Black.
A Voodoo Doctor "The Doctor" came across a girl who looked lost and scared. He used his magic to turn her into a doll, but his spell was disrupted from her terrifying and taunting screams, she remained half human, half doll. As Raven lived in the dark world of the Doctor, she secretly learned his magic and conjured up a demon, Muppet, who she made her eternal protector and trapped him inside her heart. The Doctor and Muppet created Stitches to search for those who are looking to join our dark metal carnival world in the 13th hour.
Raven Black released their first Single, "Died Inside" on September 7, 2013 at the Roxy, selling out the venue that night. They continued to work in the studio and released their first EP, "Midnight Dreary" in June 2014, successfully packed the house at the famous Viper Room.
The band was previously managed by Aaron Rossi (Grammy Nominated Drummer of Ministry/Prong), AJR Enterprises and worked with Grammy-Winning Producer Logan Mader (SoulFly/Machinehead/Five Finger Death Punch).
In October 2014, they revamped their line up and began working with Grammy Nominated Producer Ulrich Wild (Rob Zombie, White Zombie, Alice In Chains, Breaking Benjamin, Pantera, Seether,Dethklok, Otep, and more) on their new album. They then spent the next two years writing and then released their single "Seven Sins" in April 2016 and their EP "Seven Sins" in September 2016.
Raven Black played the Corona Hell and Heaven Festival July 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico with headliners like Rammstein, Twisted Sister, Ghost, Five Finger Death Punch, Mushroomhead, Selpultura, Alien Ant Farm and many others.
To end their summer, they played the 2016 DirtFest Festival in Michigan with headliners, Killswitch Engage, Asking Alexandria, Hatebreed, Attila, Born of Osiris and many others.
Releasing their first Official EP with the new line up, Seven Sins EP dropped September 29, 2016 on the way out to tour with Mushroomhead, Sunflower Dead, Unsaid Fate and Death Division for Mushroomhead's Annual Halloween Tour.
The 2017 year started very busy for Raven Black as they headed to Cleveland, OH to film their new music video with MonoBloc's Josh Apple and Andrew Sparks, for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars", Premiered by Revolver Magazine on April 13, 2017. A little horror version of their already theatrical presence in the metal community. "We wanted to have some blood in this one," says Raven.
After a quick rest, Raven Black toured through the Southern parts of the U.S. on their way to SXSW . They played the Heart of Texas Rock Festival in March 2017. Winning fans from across mutiple genres at SXSW. Raven says, "I am so proud of being able to share our METAL music with other fans of country, hip hop and pop genres. I was so surprised and happy to see them buying our music. It was fun and the only thing missing was the big mosh pit, LOL, although there was a small handful of metalheads respresented this year at SXSW. "
After returning back home to Los Angeles, the band quickly prepared for their first Headliner Tour, The Hex O'Clock Tour, which kicked off in Guadalajara, Mexico at the Roadhouse Voodoo Bar, July 7, 2017 and returned to the U.S. to begin their onth long tour throughout the U.S. from coast to coast.
The Hex O'Clock Tour was a complete success and the band was able to visit so many new cities throughout the country, see their fans and play so many new venues. Sharing with their fans, new stage props, a few new songs and announcing their new album "13" in early Spring 2018.
Raven Black just finished their 6-week across the U.S. tour supporting Psychostick, Arsonists Get All the Girls and Kissing Candice. The tour was amazing and the bands have developed life-long friends. Doesn't always happen on tours, but it did this time.
To end the 2017 year, Raven Black just announced their Preorder of the Comic Book - The Dark Metal Carnival - The Beginning - Issues 1-100. These preorder comic books will be series sequenced from 1-100 and will release in print this Spring 2018. Only these first 100 issues will be numbered for the fans that preorder. The remaining prints after the first 100 will not be numbered.
They will be also releasing their 2nd EP Album this Spring, "13". In the studio in January and February, Raven Black will be working with Ulrich Wild, Wurm Group, once again to complete their next release this Spring 2018. Of course, this will surely mean a TOUR across the U.S. and performing the new tracks from "13". There may also be a new music video coming this early Summer.
On tour this Spring with special guest, Hail Sagan and Aboleth May 11, 2018 through June 3, 2018 including an appearance at the Metal In the Mountains Festival in West Virginia on June 2, 2018 with headliner, Mushroomhead.
The Spring tour, "The Little Monsters Tour" will feature their new album "13" with single releases, "Monster", "DollHouse" and "The Nobodoies" (Cover Song by Marilyn Manson"). Their new first issue/limited edition comic book, "A Dark Metal Carnival - The Beginning" and new swag for 2018.
Following their tour, expect a few fun releases of a new music video and a new annoucnement of their upcoming Summer Tour after they play the 2018 Michigan Metal Festival on August 11, 2018!
ENDING THEIR 2018 YEAR, RAVEN BLACK HAS BEEN ON TOUR WITH DEVILDRIVER AND JINJER THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES.
IN 2019, RAVEN BLACK SIGNED WITH THE ORACLE MANAGEMENT, OWNED AND OPERATED BY DEVILDRIVER'S VERY OWN DEZ FAFARA AND AHNASTASIA FAFARA. WITH THIS POWER HOUSE MANAGING THE BAND, AND THEIR EVER SO STRONG BOOKING AGENCY AND PRODUCER, ULRICH WILD OF WURM GROUP, THE BAND QUICKLY RISING THROUGH THE TOURING CIRCUIT AND SUPPORTING THE BIGGEST TOURS OF 2019. RELEASING THREE NEW SINGLES FROM THEIR UPCOMING THRID ALBUM, RAVEN BLACK RELEASED SONGS, "CARNIVAL" "RISEN FROM THE ASHES" AND "THE ONE" AFTER PLAYING THE INKCARCERATION FESTIVAL AT THE FAMOUS OHIO REFORMATORY.
IN SPRING OF 2019, RAVEN BLACK WAS ON TOUR WITH CRADLE OF FILTH AND END THE 2019 YEAR WITH A TWO-PART US/CANADA TOUR WITH STATIC-X/DEVILDRIVER/DOPE AND WEDNESDAY 13 DURING THE SUMMER AND FALL.
WHAT'S NEXT? IT'S A SURPRISE, OF COURSE, BUT WE GUESS IT'LL BE WORTH THE WAIT.
STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES AND IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP FOR THEIR EXCLUSIVE "RAVEN'S REJECTS" FAN CLUB LAUNCHING OCTOBER 2019!
Raven Black | PRESS
RAVEN BLACK at Pineapple Jacks
PHOTOS/REVIEW: JOSHUA DAVIS/DEREK JONES
The HEX O CLOCK tour rolled into Rochester NY for what would be the final leg of Raven Black’s very first headlining tour. It’s been said that every band has to start somewhere, and while Raven Black have certainly paid their dues, they had yet to have a national tour they could call their own. Pineapple Jacks was a perfect venue to see this Dark Metal Carnival unfold. One might say that Raven Black is simply another band that dresses up and wears makeup but they are so much more. In my experience bands use masks and theatrics to cover poor music, Raven black is not one of those bands. I would dare say that the anticipation leading up to their show had been as high for us as it had been for any band we have covered in recent history. Their most recent album Seven Sins has been one of our personal favorites for a while.
The stage began to fill with fog and and the creepy voice of a child began to recite words as the band took the stage. Lead singer Raven began twirling an umbrella as the band took the stage. They ended up playing every single song off their album “Seven Sins” and then some. Audience members who had not previously heard anything by them couldn’t resist the urge to head bang to their array of groove heavy metal. I hesitate to even compare this band to anyone else because they are a mix of so many things it would be unfair to compartmentalize their sound. All I can say is that they have the ability to move a crowd of strangers. I would dare say that even without the makeup and theatrics this band could fill any venue based on music alone. Their sound is the type that causes your body to move on it’s own accord without even having to know one lyric. I have been to many shows this year and Raven Black definitely rank inside of the top 5 performances. I highly recommend checking them out if you ever see them listed at a venue in your area. You will NOT be disappointed.
Raven of RAVEN BLACK Talks First US Tour, Music Videos & New EP
INTERVIEW: KELLY MASON
You guys just wrapped up The Hex O’Clock tour. What have been some of your favorite or most memorable moments on this tour?
(Raven) – My favorite part of this last tour was seeing so many new faces and some familiar faces. A few new young fans (Ages 6-13) and seeing so many people singing along to our songs live. It’s a dream come true and very emotional for me personally. One of the highlights on this tour was playing in the heavy rain in Braidwood, IL with a few fans, as we had just left some really HOT and HUMID weather through Texas the week before. It was rejuvenating and was so much fun. Some other memorable bands we became fans of this last tour were Manifestiv, A Troubled Smile, Fable Cry, Of Serpeants, Pain!, On Your Deathbed, Symfinity, Shola Aurora, Tarby, Infamous Memories, Missfit Toys, Spawn of Thirteen, See This Through, Silence is Madness, Beryllium Takeover, and Dezacration. These bands were not only amazing and talented, but they truly showed the support and comradery of being part of a metal community. They not only played a killer show, they were there and present for the entire show and we are so happy to have met them and know we will continue to be friends in our journeys as musicians and people.
– Raven Black incorporates a lot of fun, dark carnival themes into not only your appearance, but your shows as well. As a fan, I really appreciate when a group thinks about visual stimulation during their performances. Why would you say that incorporating visual imagery is important to you, particularly for live shows?
(Raven) – Visual Imagery allows the artist to express the lyrics, melody and music further and the audience gets to experience all their senses, not just their sense of hearing. A live show is visual as well as audible. You can hear music on the radio and headphones. You have to picture its story and meaning. When you attend a live show, there is more you can experience and when an artist connects with you on all levels, it gives you a more personal experience. I have a deep passion to connect to people through my artistry. I also love to hear about their personal interpretations.
– Let’s talk about your amazing record, ‘Seven Sins’ which was produced by Ulrich Wild. As a fan, the experience of listening to it was such a treat, because it’s just so killer from start to finish. What was it like hearing those 7 songs on that album for the first time?
(Raven) – Hearing it for the first time after we went through the recording, mixing and mastering process, I was in awe of what we had done together. I couldn’t believe the final was done and we were actually going to release this creation into the world. It was emotional for me and part of me was excited and scared at the same time. Wondering if people would enjoy it and get it. “Get it” meaning, hear and see our story, message and feel all the emotions we wanted to envoke in the listener. Most people do not know, but the songs are actually placed in story order of Raven’s emotional journey and coming to a self acceptance of her dual existence.
– One song that sticks out on a personal level for me is your track “Still Healing,” which has really poignant lyrics and is musically unbridled in a brilliant way. While I’m sure all the songs on the album are special to you, are there any songs in particular that you guys either have an incredibly personal connection?
(Raven) – “Still Healing” is a song about the struggle of finding love and trying to keep it. She has been hurt and she has grown and learning to accept it, she affirms the truth is out and this in itself is a part of her healing. It’s one of my favorites. My actual favorite is “The Blackening”, as this is an epiphany/awakening within herself that there is both dark and light and through the pain and loss she has endured, she turns it around in the last outtro and accepts she can be as dark and as light and it balances her complete self.
– Are there any songs on the album that absolutely have to make it on the set list for one reason or another?
(Raven) – “The Blackening” seems to be the one song that is a fan favorite and is the one song that is our heavy ballad, and I feel we will always have one of our heavy ballads within a set list. Blackening may be renewed by another heavy ballad in the future. “Seven Sins” will have to be in the set list until we release our next EP/Album. The current EP is titled “Seven Sins”.
– The band has released vivid videos for tracks such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scars” and “Seven Sins.” Can you tell us about the process of the video shoots, and if you plan to release any additional videos off of the ‘Seven Sins’ album?
(Raven) – Both videos were filmed, directed and edited by our friends. We started with ideas based on the subject of each song and after discussing the ideas and meanings of each song, each director had provided us their ideas.
Seven Sins was super fun and we filmed this on location at a Haunted House park in the desert. They happen to have a creepy doll room and I was completely drawn to this room. Our main focus was to debut the band characters and was our first music video.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars was different. We had a storyline and wanted the viewer to be taken into a nightmare. In the nightmare, we were an altered version of ourselves, as are in our real life dreams and nightmares.
The song is about broken innocence and realization of the fears and scars we have as we grow up, away from childhood lullabies (stars vs. scars). The fear of being hurt, pain, death and ultimately suffering. It wasn’t intended to be so morbid, but the point was to show that some of your nightmares still exist in realty. The fear of suffering from whatever it is your are fearful of.
We are currently working on our next music video and I don’t want to spoil it… It’s going to be fun and quirky and should be released by Halloween 2017, if it can be completed by then by our editors. It’s a surprise, so I’ll leave it at that. We will be releasing a few “Lyric Videos” for some of the songs on the EP, for fun and kicks. Something for our fans to enjoy some more. We strive to keep our fans entertained, even when we are off tour.
We wanna do everything we can to stay connected to everyone until we visit with them again, in person, at our next show. We like to hang out with our fans.
– With such a hectic schedule have you guys gotten a chance to begin writing new material for the next record? If so, can you tell us what we can expect from your next release?
(Raven) – We have over 200 songs we have written over the past 3 years. We continue to write all the time, as each of us is inspired throughout the year. We also go on writing retreats as a band to get away and concentrate on writing together. We have a few new songs and most likely will be selecting our songs in January 2018, plans to record in February and March and releasing our new EP this Spring 2018.
– Who have been some of your defining influences, both growing up as well as currently?
(Raven) – This is such a popular question, and time and time again, I have so many influences, but I’ve been sticking to some of my favorites growing up like Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Blondie, Pat Benatar, Sheena Easton, Whitney Houston, Josh Groban, Jason Mraz, Heart, Carly Simon, Karen Carpenter, Minnie Ripperton, Metallica, Motley Crue, Boy George, Prince, Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, TLC, Mary J. Blige, Chante Moore, Tool, Alice In Chains, New Order, Depeche Mode, Morrisey, Sex Pistols, Berlin and Maria Brink.
– As someone who grew up on female fronted rock, I can’t emphasize enough how important it was to have strong, outspoken female role models to help sculpt my impression of what a woman can be, particularly when I was younger and more impressionable. Is being a strong archetype something that Raven, as a bold, dynamic female herself, feels the weight of as a frontwoman?
(Raven) – Yes, it is one of the most important things to me to be a positive, strong and resilient female figure for all ages of women and even men.
– Hard rock and metal are often not given the credit they deserved, simply because the genres are misunderstood. However, for many it’s a therapeutic outlet. Why do you think that metal, being as equally cathartic and fun as it can be, is important, especially during what can be tough times to live in?
(Raven) – I love all kinds of music, but I love rock and metal the most because I feel it is the most emotional. It is deeper than most know and carries the heaviest weight in all its facets, instrumentally intricate, emotionally driven and rebellious in its own way of self identification and preservation. No other genre can do this for me other than classical music sometimes.
– Finally, are there any words of wisdom or news on what’s next that you’d like to share with your fans?
(Raven) Never be anyone other than yourself. Surround yourself with what makes you happy and don’t hurt others while doing so. Stay tuned for our upcoming video, our Fall Tour and our new album!
EAST COAST ROMPER
The carnival has arrived
It's dark, it's metal and it's filled with sins!!
Step into the world of
BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
RAVEN BLACK: A dark Metal Carnival led by the lovely petite and fierce Raven Black herself. The band who hail from California have been on the scene since 2012-2013 and have been able to release in 2014 a EP entitled MIDNIGHT DREARY and in 2016 SEVEN SINS which is the EP that has gotten them more into the public eye.
The Ep in my opinion is pretty stellar from start to finish they have dark elements, harder edgier spooky areas, Melodic, subdued and mysterious ambiances and the vocals of Raven really bring the music to life with her heart bleeding with every word that is released on these 7 songs. Favorite songs in my opinion is THE BLACKENING, STILL HEALING and SEVEN SINS. Now the band is in the works on working on a new full album; letting us more into the world of the dark metal carnival entitled “13” which will be released 2018.
I was able to catch the band when they hit Providence, RI on the bands headlining tour. Not only was the band the most down to earth and humble bunch of musicians but they put on a killer live show with theatrics, crowd participation and overall intensity and energy.
I was honored to be able to chat with RAVEN about how she started in show business, the story behind the band and her fascination with number.
BACK STORY OF THE BAND DID THE CONCEPT OF THE CHARACTERS COME FIRST OR DID YOU START A BAND AND HAVE MUSIC AND THEN THE CONCEPT CAME TO YOU?
The visual characters and vision for the Dark Metal Carnival came first. It’s a dark musical carnival show I have played in my head since I was a child.
AND IN A BRIEF DESCRIPTION WHAT IS THE STORY OF RAVEN BLACK?
The Doctor was a travelling voodoo black magic doctor and came across a small child who seemed lost and frightened. He used his magic to turn her into a doll, but in her hasty fear, she screamed and disrupted the spell/curse and it left her half human, half doll. She travelled with the Doctor and secretly learned some of his black magic and conjured up a demon, Muppet, to come save her and defeat the Doctor, but she fell in love with the Demon and trapped him in her heart. The Doctor and the Demon became close allies and planned to travel the world seeking other followers who shared their vision for a Dark Metal Carnival World. They then created Stiches, who would be the gatherer and collector or those who wish to visit our Dark Metal Carnival world I the 13th Hour. The foursome continues to travel the world and host a Dark Metal Carnival everywhere they go and invite all those to join their world of fun, mystery and blissful insanity.
DO YOU HAVE MUSICAL THEATRE BACKGROUND AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PERFORMER IN A METAL BAND?
I do have a musical theatre background. Training from the age of 4, I began lessons and training in singing and dance (choir, ballet, modern and tap). I trained with the Mark Taper Forum as a young child and also studied acting with Amy Weinstein and Theatrical/Lyrical Dance with Annette Charles in Hollywood, CA during the ages of 11-15. I used to compete in theatrical competitions and showcases during my pre-teens and even auditioned for Hollywood musical productions like Miss Saigon. Metal music is my favorite because of all the music i listen to, sing to and dance to, metal music is one of the most emotional and that makes it #1 to me. I’m definitely an emotional singer and my lyrics and melodies are purposefully delivered to make the listener feel an emotion, whatever it may be to them.
YOU FORMED IN 2012 BUT REVAMPED THE LINEUP IN 2014 HOW HARD IS IT TO FIND MUSICIANS THAT FIT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR MUSICALLY AND CHARACTER WISE ?
Changing the lineup was one of the most difficult steps we had to endure, as our previous guitarist was a long time best friend and best man to Muppet. We had different creative visions and it took Muppet and I over a year to find The Doctor and another 2 years to find Stitches. The entire experience was a growing development. It was very important to Muppet and I that we brought on new members that had a natural passion for theatre and dark and heavy musical influences whether classical, metal, rock gothic or punk. As we knew we would be combining several of our musical influences to create our unique sound which would ultimately enhance our live performance and my character vocal styles. Each of the members have brought their own unique influences and it has proven to be an amazing collaboration.
YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR NUMBERS I READ SOMEWHERE, HOW HAS THAT HELPED IN THE VISION OF THE SONGS AND VISION BECAUSE SEVEN SINS IS NUMBER BASED AND WAS THERE A REASON ONLY 7 SONGS ON THE EP AND THE SONG 13?
I have always been fascinated by numerology and having an Asian background and growing up with Asian folklore and culture, numbers have always played a role throughout my life. The numbers “7” and “1” hold a darker and deeper meaning then is known. They are part of the titles but have a deeper and darker connection to me than most know. I had some very dark experiences when I was 7 and 13 years old. Major turning points in my life growing up and experiences that changed my life forever.
The EP purposely has 7 songs because it introduces the doll, Raven, and her journey of Broken Innocence and Redemption from Age 7 to Age 13. The EP ends with the song “13” because she underwent a major life changing event at 13 which sprung her into a new identity of self-independence and began her discovery of her inner strength and no longer being a victim of bullying and overcoming her shyness.
YOU HAVE PLAYED THREE NEW SONGS IN YOUR SET HOW IS THE NEW MUSIC FOR A NEW RECORD COMING ABOUT AND SINCE THE FIRST ONE IS AN INTRO TO YOU THE “DOLL” WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD IN THE FUTURE RECORDS?
The next EP will be released in 2018 and the three new songs we have played live on our Hex O’Clock Tour was just a peek into the rowdy, wreck less and heavier side of Raven and her misfits. The next EP will share the story behind each of the other members and how Raven is orchestrating the group’s avenging their own losses and triumphantly regain their self-identities and reigning in their own world together in the 13th hour. The mystery and excitement of being a part of their 13th hour where everyone is welcomed and encouraged to be who they truly are both inside and outside. A party and celebration of the dark and light, good and bad and finding a balance in each one’s duality of existence.
YOUR STAGE SHOW HOW WILL IT EVOLVE WITH EVERY RECORD?
As we grow as a band, and our fanbase grows with us, each show, in our hopes, will be filled with more stage production, lights and sounds that bring out everyone’s hidden selves. We want people to enjoy and let go and feel free to mosh, jump, dance, stomp, head bang and just feel our music and story and trigger all their senses at every show. We can only promise that we will try and bring something new, even in the smallest way to every show experience and we will be right there with them throughout the 13th hour.
MELODIC SINGING OR MORE AGGRESSIVE SINGING WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PREFERENCE AND WHY?
Honestly love both equally. Lyrically and musically, each thing and sometimes separately evoke emotions in me which will either be expressed melodically or aggressively. It all depends on the emotion of the lyric and the music and what is being expressed in meaning and subject.
YOU ARE FOR FEMALE POWER IN YOUR OWN WORDS DESCRIBE TO ME WHAT YOU FEEL “FEMALE POWER” IS ALL ABOUT IN THIS DAY AND AGE?
Female Power to me today means being able to feel strong and beautiful as you are, and there is no defined look or style that would make you anything more than who you are. Being one self and wearing your outside self is just as important as allowing your inside self to be seen. If you have a child inside you, let her free and if you have an old soul within you, let her free. Freedom to not worry about what society tells you is appropriate. You are appropriate because you are and you exist. Female Power to me is being able to love and to hate all at the same time for the right reasons and doing what is right to defend either.
TOUR LIFE FOR A WOMAN WHAT IS THE GOOD? THE BAD? AND THE UGLY? OF IT?
It’s ugly ugly ugly, dirty dirty dirty and fun fun fun and worth it worth it worth it. Of course, this can be changed with some support from a label that cares in the artist rather than the Profits. LOL.
YOUR VIDEO FOR TWINKEL TWINKLE LITTLE SCAR” IS PRETTY MORBID AND MORPHS YOUR CHARACTERS INTO SOME DEMENTED BEINGS. HOW WAS THE VIDEO PROCESS AND DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR CREATIVE SIDE VISUALLY WILL GO EVEN DEEPER INTO THE MORBID WITH NEW VIDEOS COMING OUT?
Actually, we really didn’t mean to get too morbid or emphasize the gore but the nightmare was supposed to describe the scars we have underneath the reality of our daily living. TWINKLE is truly about the self-realization that our innocent lullabies and wishful dreaming is not the truth when we grow up and see that love can be just as painful as it is nurturing. That our waking life may be affected by our nightmares and the scars we have that need healing. The gore and torture was taken too literally and so the message behind the lyrics was not fully captured. The fear we have and the scars we hold onto underneath the surface are in constant healing and adaptation as we experience new scars and new healing just like our nightmares and dreams are interchangeable. Some we remember, some we forget and some stay a part of our reality.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK THE VIDEOS ARE TO A BAND THAT HAS A CONCEPT LIKE YOU GUYS DO AND DO YOU SEE YOU DOING SOMETHING EVEN MORE LIKE A COMIC BOOK KIND OF THING IN THE FUTURE
Videos are important to every band. They are an opportunity for you to place a visual piece of work with your music and performance. Our band is theatrical and we have a story or message to share with every song, so for us, music videos are a must. We enjoy making them and sharing them with our fans and will continue to do so throughout our journey. We anticipate and currently working on our comic book. We want to take our time and write the story and have the right artist illustrate the story for our fans to enjoy and follow and be a part of. We may be doing a fan club subscription online for those who want to be a part of our 13th hour daily. Exclusive content and more personal platform for our fans to become involved in what we are and what we do. We are putting this together and won’t release this until we have an idea of what our fans can experience. Hopefully this can be released soon.
WHAT DOES THE REST OF THE YEAR LOOK LIKE FOR RAVEN BLACK?
We will be announcing our Fall Support Tour for November through December across the U.S.We will be supporting a great band and look forward to a killer tour. We will most likely be releasing a music video for “13”, one of our fan favorites. Then it’s Holidays and we enter into 2018 with a pretty busy schedule for January-February. We’ll be in the studio Jan-Feb for the next EP “13”. We may have a surprise bonus track on there, but we will just have to wait and see….
Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know us. I can’t tell you how much we all appreciate your time and efforts and sharing who we are and what we do. It means more to us than you can ever know.
Raven Black – Interview
Article by William Simpson
Raven Black is a band that is taking 2017 by storm. This LA based band formed in 2012 and just finished their Hex O’Clock Tour and will be heading out on the road again soon. Raven Black is taking the metal world by storm and will be a household name soon. They will be releasing an album entitled “13”. Raven Black has also released a couple of music videos, “Seven Sins” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars” from the upcoming album. StageShottz Magazine was honored to sit down with Raven and discuss the band.
StageShottz Magazine: For the fans that have not heard of Raven Black can you tell me a little about the band?
Raven: We are a Dark Metal Carnival – theatrical metal band consisting of Raven (half human/half-doll), the Doctor (voodoo black magic doctor), Muppet (the demon) and Stitches (the gatekeeper).
We travel the world looking for those whom wish to experience the 13th hour where we reside in our world of dark fun calamity. A carnival of dark heavy music where we encourage everyone to have fun and be who they really are from the inside out.
SSM: The band is a really cool concept. Tell me a bit about the history of the band.
Raven: Muppet and I started the band in 2012 with my vision of a dark metal theatrical concept. This would allow me to express my passion for all my favorite things and not leave out anything that I love about the arts, theatre, dance and music. Our first line up did not believe in the same vision, so we had to change the band members in our 3rd year. It was difficult, but I truly wanted my vision to be expressed and so Muppet and I found the Doctor and Stitches and we finally after 2 years of writing, were able to come out to the world and share what we have created.
SSM: Tell me about the writing and recording of your debut album “Seven Sins”.
Raven: We took a 2-year hiatus to write every day in our home studio. Ulrich Wild, our Producer, guided us throughout the process for the past 4 years. We took our time writing and really tried to nail down our unique sound as a band. He would tell us to write and write and he would tell me he did not want to influence any of the organic creativity until we were ready for recording.
After writing over 200 songs in 2 years, we decided we needed his opinion on the 13 songs we selected from our catalogue. I also wanted to tell a story in the first release and introduce “Raven”.
There are so many songs we have sitting on the shelf, but we feel it is very important that every song we release has our unique sound to it. Best described as “dark, quirky and heavy”. Every song has to pass my personal “Connection” test. LOL. This means, to me, that I have an emotional connection to the music and the lyrics to deliver to our listeners. It allows me to connect with the fans. Without this, the song is no good to me and we continue to work on it or write another song.
After 2 years, we finally sat with Ulrich and made the finishing touches to the 7 songs we selected for the EP, “Seven Sins”. There is a significance to the numbers “7″ and “13″, as they reflect some deep personal experiences in my life at ages 7 and 13. We will release more details about these two numbers in the upcoming albums, videos and comic book in the future.
SSM: You just finished your Hex O’Clock Tour, how was the tour?
Raven: The tour was amazing. We set out with a little fear with the cities and states we have never been to in the past. “No one knows of us” in these areas, but we were pleasantly surprised with the turnouts. There were probably only two shows on the tour where we had really low attendance.
There just wasn’t enough promotion of these shows. We did however, still make new fans and played a great show and met some really awesome people.
The tour was overall, a success for us. We are so thankful for all those people who supported us throughout this tour. Without them, we would have played to empty rooms. I am surprised at how much support we received from many of the local bands in some areas. They are colleagues and fans alike. It’s amazing some of the talent we have seen on this tour. We have made some very amazing friendships and some of the venues, promoters and crews we met, are going to be a part of us as we continue to tour.
SSM: What’s next for Raven Black?
Raven: We are touring again this Fall 2018 in November through early December with a bigger band. Very excited about it, but we cannot announce it until the headliner band announces. All I can say is we are ecstatic about this next one. It’s going to be a lot of fun!
Early 2018, we will most likely get back in the studio to record again and possibly a music video for “Blackening” or “13″, some of our fan favorites. One of the new songs we wrote, “Doll House” and “Break the Box” may also have a lyric/animated video release. No promises, but we are going to try.
SSM: If you could sit down with one person living or dead from any genre of music and pick their brain, who would it be and why?
Raven: I’d choose Prince. He is legendary, and I was privileged enough to work with him a bit and he is just a truly beautiful person and so brilliant.
SSM: Anything else you want the fans to know about Raven Black?
Raven: We want you to be a part of us.
The 13th Hour invites you to experience our Dark Metal Carnival.
Raven Black’s Hex O’clock Tour soars into Pineapple Jack’s
Article written and all photos taken by Shannon Hamilton of The Rust Belt Chronicles.
Raven Black at Pineapple Jack’s in Rochester, New York during their Hex O’clock Tour. Photo taken by Shannon Hamilton/The Rust Belt Chronicles.
Raven Black’s first headlining tour (The Hex O’clock Tour) got underway mid-July and ran through August 12th where it concluded at the Dive Bar in Las Vegas, Nevada. I personally covered the tour for The Rust Belt Chronicles on August 5th when they hit Pineapple Jack’s in Rochester, New York.
My dark metal journey began in Ohio. Some 300 miles and 5 1/2 hours later I had reached finally my destination. I arrived at the venue just as Raven Blackwas starting their sound check. My excitement began as I watched them go through every detail of their show preparation. It was clear that they were there to give the fans exactly what they paid for. I had the chance to hang with the band for a short time before the night got started and hear about the tour up to that point. As a whole the entire band was in agreement that they were happy the way it was going and they were excited to for this particular evening’s performance.
Local act Inherence started things off with a bang. If you like Madball (hardcore punk) and Hatebreed, imagine the combination of the two and you have Inherence. They were full throttle from start to finish. Inherence‘s drummer, Jimbo, played the entire 45 minute set with a broken foot; now that’s as hardcore as it gets. Fellow band members Brock Thrasher (vocals, Jordan Czyryca (guitar), Lyle Yonovich (guitar) and Ron Kaiser were every bit as hardcore as the man sitting behind the kit. Inherence is well worth seeing if they’re ever in your neck of the woods.
137, Inherence and The Red Devil Report opening for Raven Black at Pineapple Jack's in Rochester, New York. All photos taken by Shannon Hamilton/The Rust Belt Chronicles.
The Red Devil Report was next to grace the stage. It didn’t take long to understand why these guys have played with the likes Mushroomhead. TRDR had my attention from the start with a really solid sound they called brutal grunge metal. They jammed heavily to the delight of those in attendance who were supporting the underground scene. Go check them out.
137 finished off the openers with what they term as the stoner caveman metal sound. I was extremely impressed with their different sound. I always find it nice to check out bands that I’ve never heard. I have a huge love of metal and the four-piece ensemble that call Rochester home, are definitely metal. 137 has a great heavy sound that is worthy of getting off the couch and witnessing first hand.
Once the 137 exited it was time for the headliners. Smoke filled the stage while childlike voices serenaded the fans, then boom, it was time to play. Raven Black is one of those bands that you must see live to fully appreciate what they have to offer. With a shock metal stage show and theatrical paint that transforms them into story telling characters, they rip and shred through their set with a touch of the macabre. They unleashed tunes like my personal favorites “Still Healing”, “Damaged”, and “The Blackening”. All three are from the 2016 release ‘Seven Sins” which was produced and mixed by Ulrich Wild, the Grammy nominated producer who has worked with artists such as Rob Zombie and Seether.
Raven Black performing at Pineapple Jack's in Rochester, New York during their headlining Hex O'clock Tour. All photos taken by Shannon Hamilton/The Rust Belt Chronicles.
Raven’s vocals keep you listening as they go from clean and melodic to heavy and angry. Raven uses a few stage props which enhances the musical experience perfectly. She will quite often take time to leave the stage and get in the crowd to sing to a few unsuspecting listeners.
The Doctor on guitar is truly amazing with every cord while Stitches creeps around the stage slapping his bass with a jackhammer type pulse. Completing Raven Black’s killer lineup is Muppet who unloads a brutal assault on the skins. Raven Black is a must see band so make sure you get tickets early on any upcoming shows. I for one can’t wait to see them again. In the meantime you can check them out on their Facebook page or at www.ravenblackband.com. In closing I would like to give a big shout-out to Bart Maimone and the entire staff of Pineapple Jack’s. Everyone there were incredible to work with from the time I walked in until it was time to head back to the Buckeye state. I look forward to making a return visit to the awesome venue.
Raven Black @ Club X; 08/11/17 Show Review & Interview
Raven Black @ Club X; 08/11/17 Show Review & Interview
words by R.G.B. Robb/pictures by Patrick Carnahan (Cracked Glass Photography)—
The music business can be a heartless bitch. There are times when you see bands who bask in the warm glow of mediocrity, but due to some sort of lucky break—or a connection that owes a favor perhaps—they are able to attain heights of success with relative ease. And then there are times when you see a band do everything within their power to achieve that same success, ending with the same results, but having to see the road more often than not. The latest, and greatest, group I have seen that falls into the latter group would be Raven Black. Vocalist Raven Black spoke with Echoing Magazine the night that the band which carries her name headlined the second-to-last show of their Hex O’Clock Tour at Club X.
Though only a little past the midpoint of 2017, Black says that this tour, along with many successes the band has achieved over the last couple of years, has been brewing since last year. “The Mushroomhead [tour] was an offer that we received in September of 2016, so we immediately went into the studio and finished our E.P., [then] released on that tour. But because of that tour, so many different offers came up that we felt that we needed to go out there and get the E.P. out more. [There were] so many places we haven’t been, so many people that don’t know about us. So we made sure that we had to keep touring. We did the music video, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars,” in February with our friends in Mushroomhead at their studio in Cleveland—the backdrop in our video is the Mushroomhead backdrop for their show in Agora. Then we set out to do the South By Southwest show, so we did a quick routing tour in March; we’ve just constantly been getting new offers. We wanted to finish [the full-length release] 13 this year, but the opportunities keep coming. So we thought, ‘you know what, it might be premature for us to release 13 because a lot of people don’t have the Seven Sins E.P. yet, and the new music video just came out.’ We definitely wanted to let it, at least ‘settle’ before releasing something else.”
However, when it comes to their live show, the only appropriate term would be the complete opposite; unsettling. By upping the stagecraft and setting by dotting the stage with morbid pieces of artwork, the audience knows this is going to be a different show than has been seen previously. Black and her band—completed by guitarist The Doctor, bassist Stitches, and drummer Muppet—know how to make an entrance. From a wall of smoke comes the black and white umbrella swung by Black like an insane child. This is rounded by a soundscape of affected children laughing in the background, immediately followed by the black, hulking, skeleton-like appearance of the other band members. Musically they have evolved to a stew of the menacing childlike whimsy of One-Eyed Doll, the punk/grunge attitude of Babes In Toyland, replete by meeting the heavy nu-metal flavor of Coal Chamber—however Black has a much more broad vocal range than Dez Fafara, even though her voice had some limitations due to the no-days off/guttural scream approach. This is all rounded out by a stage presentation reminiscent of Beetlejuice on acid.
Asked if it was she that drew all of the artwork—a brooding display of blood, clocks, and imagery based off of the makeup and masks that all the members wear—her answer was somewhat surprising. “The artwork is my concept, what I envision, and I sought out an artist to illustrate my vision. I wanted to reach out to somebody that I could give a little more creative freedom with what I had in mind. I came across one of my fans, [I] met on the Mushroomhead tour. She came up to the band and had a postcard with a beautiful illustration and she gave it to us as a gift. I reached out to her and added her on Instagram and kept in touch. I asked her if she was busy and wanted to do some painting. I flew her to my home and she spent about two weeks at my house painting.”
The setlist had many fan-favorites—“Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars” and “13,” in particular—along with newer tracks which had range, but kept their core sound intact. Though a personal favorite is “Doll House,” “Break The Box” is also worth mentioning. A tone of excitement crosses her voice when she speaks of the future plans when it comes to these songs. “We’re planning on recording those songs. We wrote them during a ‘writing retreat’ back in May. We went to New Orleans for a week and a half and rented some studio time there and just wrote and jammed together. We wrote three songs: “Break The Silence,” “Break The Box,” and “Doll House.” “Break The Silence,” we’ve played during this tour to gauge the crowd’s reaction. It’s a little bit more mid-tempo, for me it’s a little more political; I think that’s kind of where we were at, at that moment, with everything going on in the world.”
Though Black insists that most of their songs aren’t in the political arena, it does have its place in the bigger picture. “13 was always been planned to have the Seven Sins songs on there, but with an additional set of songs that really get a little heavier and darker, and that introduce you to the other members of the band. Seven Sins specifically introduced [the character] Raven. This is all going to make more sense in the future when we come out with our comic book, the storyline. Not a lot of people know, but the order of the songs on Seven Sins actually take you on her journey from broken innocence to redemption and gaining control. It’s basically setting you [up] for the next section, which will be the full album.”
Their show is predicated on theatrics, and though on a smaller scale for now, all the band members know how to utilize their characters for effect. The Doctor’s heavy riffing with a skull-face and undertaker motif. Stitches is like a cross between Frankenstein’s monster and Jason Voorhees. Muppet’s insanity in the vein of a black-metal Animal—you immediately see where the name comes from. With props ranging from brooms, to hat changes, to a blackened funeral gown, it’s a complete experience.
With plans to tour every four months or so, Black says that the sky is really the limit as far as the next year looks for the group. “What we’re hoping for, our goal, is to get on bigger tours with bigger bands so that we end up on a label that can give us the backing and support we need to do the full production that we envision. We’re still setting out and accomplishing everything we’ve set out to do. In a year, we’re hoping that by doing a few more big support tours, being in front of a lot more people, gaining more exposure. You know, last year we didn’t have a publicist, we didn’t have a booking agent, we didn’t have a manager, we didn’t have a radio agent. We had us and a producer. This year we have all of those things. Next year, I’m very confident we’re going to continue to grow and develop, and hopefully there will be a bigger label involved. But the big vision? To go beyond the musical tour and play metal shows. We want to do something to the degree of a dark metal carnival and that’s been since day one how we’ve been introduced. We want to be the dark metal carnival that comes to town. I want a big production. I want a black and red circus tent that’s the size of a stage venue that we’ve filled, and the experience begins from the moment you purchase your ticket. So that when you see the black and red tent, you know Raven Black and the dark metal carnival is in town.”
I have yet to miss a show of theirs near my area, I have made it a note to go out. For someone who can choose to write about a number of different bands, I think the proof is in the pudding. I really have no intentions of missing any of their upcoming performances, and I highly recommend you not miss out yourself.
THE DEPOT | 8/2/17
By Jay Oakley
A darkness falls over The Depot...the openers have finished, the stage is set and the time has come, for Raven Black. The house band for the Dark Metal Carnival where your nightmares become reality and some of your realities become nightmares.
Led by singer Raven, the doll who will play with you in the daytime, laugh at you behind your back and kill you while you sleep. Drummer Muppet, whose grin gives you chills and makes you take a step back, Stitches, a masked creature whose bass work forms the dark clouds on a stormy, hallowed night and finally, The Doctor, who created them all. His guitar work deliver the carnival feel and sound, mixed with the hint of death.
Raven Black is a band that I have been familiar with due to my interest in theatrical performers, darker looks and story-telling. This, however, was my first time seeing them live. I purposely left myself in the dark about their live show. I wanted to be surprised and I wanted to keep what little I knew about them a mystery. Glad I did.
The Hex O'Clock Tour is currently on it's second leg and they're killing it. A dark, eerie set with smoke, tombstones and cemetery fences. The set opened up as the chilling voice of a child spoke. The band took the stage and Raven stood front and center as she opened her umbrella. The set was a stellar delivery of riffs, crushing drums and screaming vocals. The crowd was entranced and very receptive to Raven Black. Nodding their heads, jumping up and down and throwing up the horns. Raven Black performed all the songs from their Seven Sins record as well as more. Raven's dynamic stage presence was highlighted by her use of her umbrella, baseball bat and jump rope. Her strong vocals and screams captivated the audience and drew closer. Doctor's guitar playing was stellar as he found ways to deliver the carnival sound in his riffs to highlight and detail the sound that is Raven Black. Stitches was a joy to watch as he controlled not only his side of the stage but delivered his parts with precision. Constantly banging his head, moving around and proving there could be no rhythm section with out him. Finally, Muppet is a killer character, a killer performer. A charismatic drummer that you can't help but watch. Hair flying, mixed with his toothy-grin, his wide-eyed performances suck you in. This was an amazing show and watching the crowd head-banging and showing them such support was something to behold. They are worth going to see and I am already excited for their next trip to Baltimore. When they come to your town; go because every night is Halloween.
My only major issue was the size of the crowd. While The Depot might not be the biggest venue in the world, Raven Black deserved a bigger crowd then twenty people. It wasn't fair to them and it wasn't fair to the other fans in attendance. Attention fans and promoters alike; lets support these touring bands and give them a reason to perform for us.
Photography is courtesy of Arturo Santaella and Lynch-Moore Studios
Raven Black, Zombiecock, Zombiance @ Club X; 03/24/17
words by R.G.B. Robb/pictures by Patrick Carnahan (Cracked Glass Photography)—
An overwhelming sense of the macabre took over Club X on March 24th with ghouls covered
in blood and a soundtrack that praised all of that which brings out the spine-tingling chills in mankind. It was these excesses of the senses that made for a maddeningly, exciting way to
spend a Friday night.
I had never seen and barely listened to the headliners Raven Black before catching this show,
but I was completely blown away on all fronts by this group … they are INCREDIBLE.
With Raven Black on vocals, The Doctor on guitar, Stitches on bass, and Muppet on drums,
their names, image, and music is all predicated on insanity. Musically, they have found a way to combine elements of nu-metal with the reckless attitude and style of punk. It’s a sound that
rings with familiarity but entrenched in their own translation that there isn’t another band out there that you can point to in reference. Sounds of weird background effects coated in the
laughter of children working perfectly with the slightly overdriven ominous guitar tones
started the opener, “Still Healing,” before blowing the roof off with their brand of metal
when the song eventually kicked in. From there, they ripped through a set which included such standouts as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Scars,” “Damaged,” a cover of Marilyn Manson’s
“The Nobodies,” and the set-ender (as well as the heaviest cut of the night) “13.”
Their imagery and stage show was the perfect accompaniment to their music.
The Doctor and Stitches wore masks/makeup that were comprised of blacks, whites,
and spikes, and with all members working the stage, it would be easy for a frontman to be upstaged, but it never happened to Raven Black. Multicolored hair, black tears streaking
down her cheeks, striped socks and kiddie dress; she was the physical embodiment
of a Raggedy Ann doll possessed by Satan, and her stage presence was just as intimidating.
She can sing magnificently, but it’s when she did her guttural-to-screech metal scream
and puts on a demonic smile that the darkness was on full display. When they left the stage,
the audience was filled with stunned grins … an oxymoron of sorts that I have rarely seen previously. If there is any justice on Earth, then Raven Black will be around these parts again …
With the return of some great bands to the stage and the introduction of one that has
everything for a fan of shock-metal-punk, it was a great Friday night. Of course with Raven Black
on tour, it doesn’t matter what night of the week it is. If it’s a show you can attend,
it’s one that will make you feel—whatever the calendar might say—like you have just begun an incredibly grim-filled weekend. This is a show not to miss.
RAVEN BLACK : A Dark Metal Carnival
Los Angeles based Raven Black have released the video "Seven Sins" from their yet to be released album tentatively named "13". Formed in 2012 but with an ever changing line up they continue to push forward with the release of "Seven Sins" they are just teasing at what they will be introducing you to, a dark metal carnival.
With such a theatric look and sound they are one of the best sounding and artistic bands to break the mold of a true total stage show. Raven (Lead Vocals) shows her vocal chops from a spine tingling soft melodic voice to a powerful growl that you would not think would come from a girl who portrays innocence, yet has the tattoos and make up to open up a world of theatric mayhem.
Other members include The Doctor on lead guitar, a voodoo doctor putting you into his trance that pulls you right into the bands web. Stitches (Bass) Seems to connect as the dark force laying the ground work and thump that leads the band into the carnival tent of darkness. Muppet (Drums) Well anyone named muppet and playing the drums leads you to believe they are the untamed animal caged behind the kit banging on the skins like they are bars of tormented imprisonment.
So what does the future hold for Raven Black? Only the devilish ringmaster knows, but we so want to be sitting first row under the dark big top to find out.