22. BlackStar Republic


Welcome back for another episode of the Podcast. This week I finally release the Interview with BlackStar Republic. It was a crazy train of events that lead up to the interview but it happened. It was a fun experience and definitely the only walking Interview I have ever done. BlackStar Republic is Bryan Brown on Vocals and Bass, Mykol Safranek on Guitar, and Petey ‘Groove’ on the Drums. They are a heavy metal band from the Dallas area. Check them out next Ridglea Metal Fest, August 11th, with Drowning Pool! Special shout out to Jameson White of Dispositions for jamming with the band when they were a man short. Impressive work all around.

Download the episode Here.

BlackStar Republic can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

Download there new single ‘Nuclear Hollywood’ on Google Play, Itunes, and Spotify.

Rocklahoma- Best, Worst, and Surprises

Let me start this by saying these are opinions based on our experiences and tastes. Greg Crone, Johnny Michelsen, and Myself (Joshua Wheeler) all made it to Rocklahoma this year and, after all the excitement and stories, we wanna let you know how we felt on a few things, Share our vastly differing opinions on the music we all experienced.

First up Greg Crone

Best- Trivium, Clutch, The Cult, Godsmack, Coda Cutlass

Surprises- How heavy Sevendust is. How Dead Horse Trauma handled a large stage and crowd. How I watched 95% of a rap artist set that wasn’t my son (Yelawolf), Butcher Babies brought it. Lzzy Hales voice was a surprise.(Side Note- Gregs Son is Ryan Crone, whos stage name is Smooth Doggy Breath).

Worst- Stone Temple Pearl in Chains, A Perfect Circle, and Tom Queefer.

Johnny Michelsen

Friday Best- Stone Temple Pilots: New singer… You wanna try and hate the guy, but he was a show man and did great keeping up with the songs current and past relevants. Surprise- Yelawolf: He brought his unique style to the table and the fans ate it up. Worst- A Perfect Circle: All that stage set up, what was the pay out? Still waiting… and waiting… Maynard looked like David Bowie’s character from “Labyrinth”

Saturday Best- Ghost: That is one of the best storytelling sets ever. Even if I dont know what the story was. Surprise- LA Velvet: Victoria is smocking hott!?! with a South American accent. You get drawn to her when she opens her mouth. (and she is great at selling merch too. Better hustler than Vincent.) Worst- Vince Neil: Most of the time he got the fans to sing the songs. Luckily he had the best sound guy in the world to pause it like he wanted to have happen. When he did sing, wrong lyric sometimes.

Sunday Best- Poison: Taking a trip down memory lane with all the original members made it more memorable. Tribute to the armed service men and women always a plus. Surprise: Candlebox: Great sound and everything. Talked about suicide awareness, also a plus. Worst- none… Every act kicked ASS!?!

Last but hopefully not least Joshua Wheeler

We arrived Thursday and I was able to catch a few cool shows that night. A band called Kira on the Darkside stage and Dallas band Blackstar Republic. Enjoyed them a ton.

Friday was a great day. Hands down, and I am still riding the musical high, Yelawolf was the end all be all of my Rocklahoma experience. He was the first big show I ever went to and I had been looking forward to seeing him again. I remember the crowd from the first show. I was genuinely scared, it was so rowdy. This time I was thrilled. I was surprised by Sevendust. They have always been a good band, but there live show and stage presence was immense. I enjoyed the lead singers ability to talk to the crowd and entertain. Sadly, I am not a fan of A Perfect Circle. I am barely a Tool fan but really enjoyed the covers that Ultralink would do. I felt like there was a club at the show and I wasn’t a member of it. Like Maynard was speaking a different language I had failed to learn. That and he spent his time in the shadows. I prefer my Vocalists to be in your face.

Saturday was a bit of a recovery day for me, but by the time Powerman 5000 came on I was front row and ready to party. They knew it was hot and showed the crowd no mercy, and didn’t let the sun affect there performance, I mean other than a computer malfunction. It was hot but they dressed to the nines and melted faces. The energy was amazing and I feel like it has really paid to be a longtime fan. I didn’t dislike any of the acts that day but nothing else really stood out for me personally.

Sunday, the day of old school bands and people tired of clothes. My favorite and also surprise of the day was Candlebox. I could not believe the band my mother used to listen to could still throw down and perform better than people half there age. I really enjoyed 10 years. The first song was not grabbing me, but every song after was better , and better. My wife had been telling me to check em out for a while. She was right. Halestorm was good and you could tell the heat was lighting Lzzy up. I didn’t really get into the old Cheap Trick and Poison shows. I was front row for Lynch Mob. They got down!

Thanks for checking out the blog and reading our opinions. Hopefully enjoyed the read, and we would love to hear your opinions on Rocklahoma and the bands.

Cover photo by Johnny Michelsen.

Live Review: Yelawolf at Rocklahoma

To quote my lovely wife “If Rocklahoma was a competition, Yelawolf won the whole damn thing.” Now that is coming from a person who only really listens to him when I make her. I was so proud hearing that. I ditched out on seeing Stone Temple Pilots to get first row at the River Casino stage. So worth it. When Yelawolf hit the stage the crowd went wild. He was dressed in his Slumerican shirt, vest and skinny jeans. Odd jean choice but my wife liked it.

Now I know some of the people in the crowd wanted to hear him perform some oldies like Daddy’s Lambo and Let’s Roll, but he stuck mostly to tracks from Love Story, Trunk Muzik Returns, and his new Trial By Fire. He did however do a sing along of ‘Pop The Trunk’. At one point he cracked a beer, and offered it to a guy in the crowd who more or less caught it. Not 30 seconds later Yelawolf grabs thw micstand off the stage tosses it into the crowd. The whole place goes wild and I was later told two guys fought over the stand for 4 songs till staff took it back. Now if you haven’t heard, Yelawolf hired a whole band worth of musicians to tour with him. It gives his music this crazy full and heavy sound. He even hired a fiddler. I know he is currently looking for a name to call them. I can’t explain how heavy his music sounded and the joy I felt at the climax of such a long wait to finally see one of my favorite artist. As a side note, Slumericam shirts were finally in stock at the merch booth and they were selling like hot cakes. I had to rush and get one soon as I saw them. Finally I got mine. To close out his set, Yelawolf performed ‘Punk’. The original track features Travis Barker on drums and Juicy J. On stage his new drummer knocked it put of the park. If you wanna have a great experience, stage dive, crowd surf, have a pit, or just jam go check out a Yelawolf show. We will see him again soon at the River City Rockfest Sept. 22nd.

– Joshua Wheeler

Closing A Chapter- Vince Neil at Rocklahoma

This blog post is gonna be a very personal one. When I was still in school, like middle school, my father had an accident and passed away. I remember I was at a friends when I got the news. I fought like hell to stay there cause I just could not process. Before my father passed away, he told me he was gonna take me to see Motley Crue in Lubbock, Tx. I didn’t have a lot in common with him at the time, so going to see some music for the first time was exciting. That show came and went because of the accident. It was always there in the back of my mind. Live music. Motley Crue. A relationship that might have been. Years later, I finally tried going to a show. We were all set to see Damageplan! They were stopping in Dallas on that tour. Of course you already know how that turned out. I gave up any thought of live music. Until one day I learned about local bands playing and jumped into it head first, never looking back.

Jump forward to Rocklahoma. I’m sitting at the Bud Light stage and enjoying the show. Vince Neil suddenly comes on stage and I am immediately that child again. Waiting to go see Motley Crue with my dad. I got very emotional and choked up a little. Now as much as I was in my feelings, time had not been kind for ol Vince. I know a hard partying life can catch up too you, and it caught him in spades. I enjoyed hearing those old Crue songs and hearing the crowd sing, but Vince has had better days. Nothing against him, just an old music vet out there doing what he still loves. After the set was over and the crowd started to disperse, I just felt like a little weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Weight ive carried way to long. Thank you Vince Neil, for the performance and emotional cleansing. And to my have in heaven, I hope you know I didn’t hate you, I just didn’t really know you. We were destined to walk different paths, though the stories I’ve been told recently make me think that fork in the road would have become a converging lane again. Rest in peace and watch over your sons.

– Joshua Wheeler

Basement Jams

Rocklahoma through the eyes of Johnny.

We have selected a few pictures from contributor Johnny Michelsen to give you a taste of his journey through Rocklahoma. From campgrounds to Main Stage, he experienced it all. For more photos and insights go check out Johnny on Facebook.

All photos by Johnny Michelsen.

We will be sharing more on our experience very soon.

First Rocklahoma experiences

We had a long hard day full of drama, misfortune, and butts falling asleep. We finally arrive at 730 p.m. and get camp setup. I’m excited to be here but disappointed at the same time. I had been looking forward to seeing Blackstar Republic but had missed there set. The day however decided I needed a win. Bryan Brown from the band hit me up and let me know they had a few troubles but

sorted it out and were about to hit the stage. I was surprised but my poor internet connection put me 15 minutes behind. I was not gonna let that stop me. I marched my friends across the festival and showed up just in time to get my face melted. I even hung around after the set to have a podcast interview. Stay tuned for that. Now we are all back at our campsite with the noise, ticks, drunks, drinks, and still having fun. P.s. thanks Mykel. The gift was badass.