Livintrust
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Livintrust

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by Brodie Holman

The death of nu-metal was a solemn moment in music to be sure and now we are swamped with emo and post hardcore bands being spit out like hot dogs in a factory. So when a band comes along and plays within the ranges of a style that many had left for dead, it becomes a refreshing experience for us music lovers. LIVINTRUST from the chilly state of Connecticut are not so much relying on a lost genre of music but helping others to bring it into the new millennium by fortifying it with a revitalized energy and zest. The record didn’t instigate any mold smashing but their lively sound and incontestably melodic riffs will wreak havoc on your brain cavity in a positive way. If you like bands like CROSSFADE, SONIC CULT, SHINEDOWN and SEETHER who have embarked upon a movement to make the heavy alternative, or nu-metal light, popular then LIVINTRUST will be making an appearance in your ipod soon enough. The formula essentially runs like this: punching bass drum, smooth guitar transitions mired in deep tones and actual, life-like singing that runs the gauntlet of octaves. All of which are orchestrated and cultivated like a fine wine-sometimes bitter and sometimes sweet but always good in the long run. Besides, its nice to review a CD from time to time where I can actually discern what the singer is saying rather than referring to the lyrics every few seconds. In my eyes, the record was what a good melodic metal album should be with just enough creative experimentation provoking me to come back for more. - East Coast Romper


by: Nick R. Scalia

It's not unusual for fledgling bands to have big dreams - like, say, playing an arena show in front of a few thousand rock fans, getting their songs in rotation on a major radio station, and snagging themselves a lucrative endorsement deal or two.

Problem is, locally-based hard rockers Livintrust have already accomplished all of that - so what's next for the aggressive but radio-friendly (perhaps aggressively radio-friendly) quintet?

"We have some opportunities coming up," says drummer Matt Chirsky, the band's spokeman as well as its sticks-man. "We auditioned for the Warped Tour about a month ago, WCCC is going to be putting another single in rotation, and next Saturday, we're playing the Mega Mother Hucker coming up at Mt. Snow - it's their biggest freestyle skiing event of the year."

And actually, having sporting events set to their driving, riff-heavy songs isn't anything new for Livintrust. In addition to their WCCC airplay, the release of their debut album Blind Drive, and a prime gig opening for Audioslave and Seether at Hartford Dodge Center, the band also managed in 2005 to land its songs on ESPN's Baseball Tonight and Gravity Games broadcasts... thanks to a live gig they played that wowed one of the sports network's staffers.

The band - made up of Chirsky, singer Art Loomer, bassist Justin Wade, and guitarists Keith Caro and Holden Truelove - has garnered a lot of attention since coming together in fall 2004, both with their live show and with Blind Drive. The album is loaded with songs that split the difference between polished power-chord chug and acoustic sounds, from anthemic rockers (like their PLAY comp contribution We Are In) to ballads like Fall and the confessional album closer Too Long.

We're thinking fans will be hearing more of the former at their upcoming Mt. Snow gig. "Livintrust is the featured band," Chirsky says. "We're gonna be playing outside, with skiers jumping over our head with fireworks going on the whole time."

"I'm hoping a snowboarder crashes into my drum set when we're playing," he adds, laughing, "...and maybe knocks over a couple of heatlamps or something."

Barring any horrific accidents on the slopes, though, Livintrust will also be the final band to hit the stage at PLAY's 2nd Birthday Bash - and we caught up with Chirsky and Caro to field our two-centric questions in anticipation of the show.

O Favorite second album of all time?
Matt - "Mine, definitely, is Gretchen Goes to Nebraska by King's X - no question."
Keith - "Guns 'N Roses, the one with Patience on it... Lies."

O Where did you play your second gig ever?
Matt - [after a maddening search through the band's financial records] "The Brickyard [in Hartford], November 4, 2004. I was in a band called Stealing Providence at the time and there were couple shows left on the books for us, even though we'd broken up, so I just swapped out the Stealing Providence date with Livintrust."
Keith - "We had to play some covers that show - we hated it."

O What two bands would you love to have opening for you?
Keith - "Locally, I know who I'd like to open up for me is Fear the State."
Matt - "Velvet Revolver. And if Guns 'N Roses got back together... with the original lineup, that is."

O If someone had to listen to only two of your songs, which ones would you pick and why?
Keith - "You probably want to go with an aggressive song and a lighter song. Too Long shows more of our lighter side..."
Matt - "It shows the angle of songwriting, too... writing about personal experiences, personal thoughts and feelings. People seems to really relate to that song... It shows how the band writes and what we're writing about.
[For an aggressive song] I would say Waited, because it also has the commercial radio-friendliness to it."
Keith - "But it displays the intensity of our aggressiveness, too."

O What two things can't your band live without?
Matt - "I would say the camaraderie of the band. We get along onstage and offstage, and that, to me, builds a solid foundation."
Keith - "The fans, they're what makes everything possible."
Matt - [laughs] "Yeah, they're the ones buying our cds...so, the fans and the camaraderie."

O Second encores - awesome or overkill?
Matt - "Overkill."
Keith - "That's definitely overkill, unless you're like, fucking Billy Joel or something."

O Proudest moment of the past two years?
Keith - "I'd have to say walking onto the Dodge Music Center stage and just setting up our stuff, doing a little soundcheck just before we were going on, looking out at the crowds and everything. That was probably the peak of my career so far with these guys."
Matt - "Yeah, just stepping onto that stage where I've seen all my favorite bands play, and where I never really thought I'd ever be."

O Two words to best describe what you sound like?
Keith - "Aggressive and melodic."

O Where do you see yourself two years from now?
Keith - "On tour, man."
Matt - "Two years from now... Definitely on the beginnings of making this a career - being out there, touring, selling records, making videos..."
Keith - "Making money." [laughs]

O If your band was a movie sequel, which one would you be?
Matt - "[laughs] Did Spinal Tap ever have a sequel?"


- Play Magazine


by Brian G LaRue

Throughout these twelve tracks, Livintrust sounds remarkably professional. The production is impeccably in sync with hard-rock/contempo-metal radio trends--ambitiously high vocal harmonies, echo and sound-texturing all hitting at just the right places--and the playing is tight. Really tight. The band's formula is down--distorto-riffing during choruses, tense arpeggiating during verses, seamless power-drumming, passionate vocals. The choruses soar; the bridges sufficiently take things to the next level. It's aggressive but melodic--the playing is all metal or somethingcore-influenced, the vocals are tuneful but never veer into that particular "I'm a nice guy singing over a metal band" territory you hear on some radio bands, and the songs are mostly in minor keys. Very well assembled. One thing's missing, though, and singer Art Loomer drives it home in the album's single, "Waited," when he sings, "I need you to see all that hate that's in me." No, no--we can't see it; you have to explain it to us. The classic "show, don't tell" rule for writers. - New Haven Advocate


by Brian Rademacher

Throughout these twelve tracks, Livintrust sounds remarkably professional. The production is impeccably in sync with hard-rock/contempo-metal radio trends--ambitiously high vocal harmonies, echo and sound-texturing all hitting at just the right places--and the playing is tight. Really tight. The band's formula is down--distorto-riffing during choruses, tense arpeggiating during verses, seamless power-drumming, passionate vocals. The choruses soar; the bridges sufficiently take things to the next level. It's aggressive but melodic--the playing is all metal or somethingcore-influenced, the vocals are tuneful but never veer into that particular "I'm a nice guy singing over a metal band" territory you hear on some radio bands, and the songs are mostly in minor keys. Very well assembled. One thing's missing, though, and singer Art Loomer drives it home in the album's single, "Waited," when he sings, "I need you to see all that hate that's in me." No, no--we can't see it; you have to explain it to us. The classic "show, don't tell" rule for writers. - Rock Eyez


by Patrick Ferrucci

Back in April, I got sent "BlindDrive," the debut record from New Haven-based hard-rock band LivinTrust and wrote about how it was a more-than-competent stab at polished, riff-heavy music. The disc houses some very, very good tunes, including the obvious single "Waited."

Well, imagine my surprise when I heard the tune blaring out of my television while watching "Baseball Tonight," of all shows. There I was sitting on my couch, mourning my beloved Red Sox when the ESPN show played a long montage of the year's best baseball plays, all scored to the melodic, hummable and yet totally driving sounds of "Waited."

It seems that the band caught the attention of an ESPN employee while playing a show in Hartford. "The girlfriend of someone who works at the club heard us and loved it," recalls drummer Matt Chirsky, who along with guitarists Keith Caro and Holden Truelove, bassist Justin Wade and singer Artie Loomer make up LivinTrust. "She passed it on at work and now it's being played on 'Sportscenter' and during the World Series."

"My buddies call all the time," adds Caro, "and they're like 'It's on.' I probably catch it once for every 20 times it's on."

Besides the ESPN gig, the band will be performing its largest show Tuesday. LivinTrust receives tons of support from Hartford's WCCC (106.9 FM), so when the station decided to celebrate its 30th anniversary with Audioslave, it called LivinTrust to open.

"Besides just the rehearsing," says Chirsky, "it's been a lot of production stuff. We're kind of doing everything ourselves, so we have to work out all the load-in stuff and the set-up times. It's going well, but it's all pretty nuts."

Even though the guys handle most everything themselves, Caro's quick to point out how much help is given by the street team, record label (oneSixone Records) and the band's sponsor, Bud Light True Music.

"They help us out with signs and posters," he says. "It makes it easier on the rest of us when we're trying to promote a gig."

Caro and Loomer formed a band that would become LivinTrust about seven years ago, but the lineup and focus was unstable. It wasn't until the additions of Chirsky about a year ago and Wade a little more than 18 months ago that got the band going in the right direction.

"I've never been happier with the lineup," says Caro. "I don't have to worry about anybody's playing skills. There's so much more professionalism, and it just works really great."

"I think we all have the same mentality," adds Chirsky, "and everyone's in it for the same reasons. We all know we have to pay our dues and there will be peaks and valleys, but we're going to give it our best shot. Everyone's on the same page and we get along on and off stage. That's a key when we're going to go on tour together."

The road ahead for the guys starts Tuesday with the Audioslave, which will put the band on the same bill with some of hard rock's most popular acts like 30 Seconds to Mars and Seether. The foursome hopes that a major label might catch one of the shows and sign them; they've gotten a good amount of feedback from the biggies already.

"We feel comfortable knowing we should be playing on bigger stages," explains Chirsky. "We need to play to bigger crowds and get the word out." - New Haven Register


For a band as tenacious about making it as New Haven-based hard rock foursome Livintrust, one thing definitely stands out - they're really nice guys.

"We don't have an attitude, we're not a-holes," says drummer Matt Chirsky. "With us, it's not like, 'Hey, what can you do for us?' - we approach people like, 'What can the band do for you?'"

So if they do find the success they're so persistently seeking - with their dogged touring schedule, their ability to make connections inside and outside the music industry, and especially their professional-sounding, well put-together, and, yes, very rocking debut disc Blind Drive - nobody should be angry about it.

Formed in late 2003 by lead singer Art Loomer and guitarist Keith Caro, the band went through the usual gestation-period lineup shifts before settling on bassist Justin Wade and picking up Chirsky - who also pounds the skins for cover warriors Darik and the Funbags - last October.

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According to the drummer, what separates Livintrust from many of their peers is their common goals and their communal sharing of rock-band duties - each member is committed to pulling his own weight. "With us, there's not one guy sitting there at the end of a paying gig looking for his gas money - we put the money in the band's account and re-invest it into ourselves," Chirsky says.

"In most bands, there's always the one a-hole - it's usually the lead singer, but definitely not in our case. Everybody is equal and everybody is cool, people will move their individual plans around to make things happen, and everybody in the band will do what they need to do to get things done."

That's true onstage and on record, and also in the band's day-to-day operations; there's no slacking in Livintrust, and each member contributes their own particular expertise to the collective effort - Chirsky handles management and booking. "With this lineup, everybody is able to put in whatever their talent is - graphic arts or songwriting or business management... now it's kind of a complete circle."

And the 12-track Blind Drive seems to reflect that cohesion, in polished melodic hard rock songs that have a definite sense of completeness - riffs, bass lines, vocals, and drums come together with a purposefulness, muscularity, and radio-friendly pop sensibility that most local bands struggle for years to find. There's a corker of a single in the loud-soft-loud moshpit anthem Waited - it almost suggests what Nickelback would sound like if they were competent - and the band hits the expected harder tracks (Weapon, Sorry) and downtempo lighter-wavers (Last Fight, Inside Us) with equal assurance.

As tight and confident as the music is, though, the lyrics - penned by vocalist Loomer - stand out for their vulnerability, always a risky thing for a rock band to show. Even when Livintrust musically recalls aggro acts like Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin, Loomer sidesteps the anticipated angst-ridden posturing for a surprising degree of soul-searching and contemplation; it's especially apparent on closer Too Long, an uncertain but ultimately positive reflection on getting older based around a weighty question posed in its chorus - "Have I dreamed for too long?"

"I get that sense from Art, that what he writes about are his true honest feelings," Chirsky says. "I think there's a natural heartfelt energy that just comes from the band - the music itself moves people, lyrically it moves people... it's all honest."

The album was written largely by founding members Loomer and Caro. "When those two get together a magic happens... Keith just wails out a riff and Artie's singing to it right out of the gate," says Chirsky. But their more recently-acquired bassist and drummer were given some creative input over several unfinished tracks, and Chirsky says their newest material is a total collaborative effort.

"I think everybody's finally getting a chance to feel each other out musically. It's a really good writing environment - everybody's open to everybody's ideas... that's a good foundation for good songwriting."

Where it all really comes together, the drummer says, is onstage, where the hard work behind the scenes has paid off in the form of attention from radio stations, record labels, and even Bud Light, who sponsors the band as part of their True Music promotion.

But Chirsky says that of all the assistance and support they've received, their greatest ally is one6one records - the New York-based independent label that, according to their website bio, picked up Livintrust (then under a different name) based on the strengths of an early performance that made abundantly clear Loomer's rock star potential. "Artie has great presence," Chirsky explains, "He's definitely a frontman and he's a great singer on top of it."

The label has taken an uncharacteristically active role in promoting the band - Chirsky says they're consistently in contact several times every week - and getting the songs themselves as much worthwhile exposure as possible. One such outlet is WCCC, Hartford's independently-owned hard rock station, which has added Livintrust to their overnight playlists and featured the band as part of their "New at Two" spotlight. "It's really cool to have that sort of support at the local level - a lot of bands don't get that, and anything that could come along and help you advance toward the next step is a good thing."

One such good thing is the cd release show that Livintrust will be performing Friday at Hartford's Up or On the Rocks. Interscope Records is sending along a camera crew to shoot the band playing live and, presumably, sample their major-label prospects.

"We've gotten a lot of good feedback, and it's not just people blowing smoke up our asses," laughs Chirsky. "Everybody seems to have this feeling about the band that something's gonna happen."

And if it does, then maybe these four nice-guy rockers will also serve another purpose - proving that that old stereotype about "finishing last" doesn't always hold true.
- Play Magazine


We love to see our best local acts - especially those who've graced the pages of PLAY - make it to the next level in any way possible.

So, as they prepare to play Hartford's arena-sized Dodge Music Center opening for Audioslave and Seether on Nov. 1, we thought we'd catch up once again with Connecticut-based hard rockers Livintrust - a driven foursome whose heavy melodic guitar rock has already been heard on ESPN and been captured on video by Interscope Records.

And catch up with them we did, in a very chaotic (but quite entertaining) conference call with the entire band - lead singer Art Loomer, guitarist Keith Caro, bassist Justin Wade, and drummer Matt Chirsky, all of whom are quite obviously stoked over the upcoming gig.

Chirsky - the band's most vocal member offstage - says the band's exposure on Hartford's 106.9 WCCC, who've been consistently playing tracks from their independently-released album Blind Drive, is what helped them land the spot opening for the post-grunge supergroup. "Basically it was as simple as playing a local club, handing off a cd to one of the rock DJs - Craig the Porn Star from WCCC," the drummer explains. "Then it got into the hands of [CCC Music Director] Mike Karolyi, and everybody there was just totally blown away by what they heard.

"WCCC being an independent radio station, it gives them a lot more leeway to support the local guys, and they thought we were deserving of this opportunity - Mike had contacted our record label, and they offered us the opening spot in conjunction with their 30th anniversary. They're doing 'Thirty Years of Rock in 30 Days,' and they're tying it all to the big show."

And despite their relatively young age as a band - Livintrust was formed in late 2003 by Loomer and Caro - none of the four bandmembers express a hint of anxiety over sharing the stage with a multi-million-selling major label band consisting of members from two of the 90s biggest rock acts. "I don't think any of us are nervous whatsoever," says Caro, and Chirsky is right there to back him up - "It's excitement, not so much nervousness, and I think the band is ready to do shows like this. We feel comfortable that this is probably where we should be this point, jumping on tours with national acts."

Frontman Loomer, meanwhile, is just proud to be playing on one of the state's most prestigious rock stages. "It's like a dream come true to be on that stage," he says. "Years ago I dreamed about playing there and now it's happening Nov. 1 - it's crazy... it's awesome."

If you're headed to the show, be sure not to be late - Caro says the band's only got time for about five songs as the leadoff act, but they're going to make it as intense as possible. "We're gonna do our five best songs, mostly our heavy songs... we're gonna pump it out hard and get everybody ready for the rest of the bands."

One thing the four guys in Livintrust are a bit less confident about, though, is whether they were bigger Rage Against the Machine or Soundgarden fans back in the day - they're all quick to give props to Soundgarden first, but after a moment's reflection, Caro admits, "I was a total Rage fan, too."

The rest of the guys start to voice their agreement, and it becomes pretty clear that they may never make up their minds.

Not that they need to, because thanks to the Audioslave show, they're essentially opening for both... and the coolness of that is something they can all agree on.

Hear It Live
Livintrust,
opening for Audioslave
w/ Seether
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 6 p.m.; Tickets $36 and $46, available through Ticketmaster outlets
Dodge Music Center
61 Savitt Way, Hartford

For future live shows, band updates, or to hear Livintrust,
visit their official website at www.livintrust.net.
- Play magazine


Discography

Livintrust / BlindDrive 2005 - full length disc
Livintrust / LIVE at Daniel Street - 2007 - EP

Radio releases
"Waited" release 2005
"Out of Luck" 2008

Photos

Bio

"The idea is to be timeless...not precious." That's the word according to the group. The crunch of metal guitar for the sake of sounding contemporary is, if anything, an afterthought; at times existing almost to spite the current trend rather than kowtowing to it. Instead, blindDRIVE is a channeling of songs that were desperate to come out, almost as if they had waited for just the right time to be heard. Twelve tunes unconcerned with the package in which they are delivered, equally at home in the deafening volume of any rock bar or in the privacy of your own headphones. Scratch the surface and suddenly Livintrust defies categorization.

In true rock band fashion, they conceived and wrote the songs that would become blindDRIVE clustered around haphazardly assembled gear and a 4-track recorder; first in the sweltering New Haven attic rehearsal space of singer Ken M, then in a maze of band rooms and makeshift studios housed in derelict factory buildings near Hartford. These enclosing spaces would force inner concentration and attention to detail, everybody invading the personal territory of the others, and leave the band no choice but to learn to fly in formation. And every rock band does it; a near endless procession of musicians and singers, coming and going until that perfect chemistry is discovered, a perfect balance acheived. Now Keith Caro could bring with them guitars to pick and choose from an endless bag of riffs and an infinite number of ideas; Justin Wade sending the notes from a bass over to drummer Matthew Christopher where they were pounded into songs. Finally, Ken M snarled a lyrical invitation to the curious to come take a look inside.

"It's just a fun ride," as one band member put it, though they take it as seriously as could be expected. Livintrust is at once a band cohesive and collected, yet teetering on the verge of implosion. Their sleight of hand is the depth of the content lurking almost out of earshot, each word beckoning the listener to catch up or be left behind. The common goal now is to stay balanced. And as long as it matters to someone, what could be more fun than that?