LOKI
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LOKI

Westbrook, Maine, United States

Westbrook, Maine, United States
Band Rock Alternative

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"Rockers Loki plan EP release this month"

Loki is not a band that messes around. To use a slightly overused phrase: They’re a well-oiled machine. Give them two days in a studio, and then get all the recording done in one. Give them a whole afternoon to practice, and they figure out crazy difficult Tool covers in half that time. Don’t mess with Loki. Just like Joe Bornstein, they mean business.

Which is why Jonathan Taylor, lead vocalist for the band, thinks that the current incarnation of his longtime alternative rock band is the best one yet. Ten years after he and guitarist Jon Boyer met while studying at the University of Southern Maine, the Loki of 2010 is another beast entirely from the 2001 version.

“We’ve gotten to a point where we’re just all so comfortable with each other, we can crank out songs in a matter of hours,” said Taylor. “We have that kind of relationship. Songwriting is really, really easy for us. The process of making them perfect takes a lot longer, but we just communicate really, really well. Quality over quantity.”

The latest fruit of Loki’s labor is “Ebb & Flow,” a six-song EP recorded with Jonathan Wyman at Halo Studios in Portland and due out on Tuesday, April 20. A refined, expertly recorded slice of heavy, melodic rock that brings to mind Incubus, Tool and early Stone Temple Pilots, the album showcases a more mature band, confident in their direction and putting their considerable technical chops to full use. Taylor, Boyer, drummer Adam Nichols and bassist Seth McClellan work hard, and play hard.

“It was a hard time for us to come out with a new album, quite honestly, because as soon as we got done with the last one [2008’s ‘No Disclaimers’] we were ready to do another,” said Taylor. “Jon Wyman kind of talked us down off the ledge for doing another full-length. Instead of spending all the money to do 10 or 12 songs, we did 5 or 6 and made them really, really good.”

They also had the chance to work with some of the best producers in the state, even the country. Wyman’s studio cranks out a number of the best albums in Maine, and Loki managed to get the album mastered at Gateway Mastering in Portland — possibly the most renowned mastering facility in the U.S.

“It was a really amazing experience,” said Taylor. “Of the 68 Grammys that were won last year, they had mastered 29 of them. There were platinum albums all over the wall, all these albums that changed my life, like Pearl Jam’s ‘Ten’ and the first Rage [Against the Machine] album and stuff from Tool. We were just drooling on ourselves. We were so lucky to get to work with them.”

Loki has cultivated a lot of close relationships with their fans, the venues they play at and the radio stations that support them. In the coming weeks, stay tuned to WCYY and WMPG out of Portland and to “Homegrown” on WTOS-105.1 on April 14 to hear new music and interviews with the group. Radio play is an important part of Loki’s continued popularity in Maine.

“We leave it up to the DJs and the fans to pick what kind of stuff they want to hear on the radio,” said Taylor. “We’re happy with whatever they pick. We like all our stuff. We wouldn’t put it out if we didn’t.”

Between the Bridge Street Tavern in Augusta, the Big Easy in Portland, the Montsweag Roadhouse in Woolwich, Mainely Brews in Waterville and in-store performances at Bull Moose Music stores, Loki has made a lot of friends in the state. It has given them the live experience needed to become seasoned performers — and a chance to build a devoted fan base.

“If we didn’t have those venues that liked us and believed in us, we couldn’t do this at all,” said Taylor.

Loki’s new EP, “Ebb & Flow,” is out online and at Bull Moose Music on April 20. A CD release party will be April 24 at the Big Easy in Portland. They also will play at Mainely Brews in Waterville on May 1. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/lokiband. - Bangor Daily News


"Something in the struggle"

April 14, 2010

It would have taken some favorable odds for me to have put money on Loki celebrating a decade as a band back when they debuted in 2000.
EBB AND FLOW | Released by Loki | with Soundbender + Fifth Freedom | at the Big Easy, in Portland | April 24 | myspace.com/lokiband
Jonathan Taylor’s Sully Erna-like metal-growl was all in vogue with the angry young man set, and there seemed to be dozens of similar-sounding metal-rock bands who were fans of Rage Against the Machine, Tool, A Perfect Cirle, Papa Roach, and maybe even Limp Bizkit.

Norse-God-loving metal rockers? Kids grow out of that when they can’t wear their black jeans to work anymore, right?

But Loki are, indeed, now celebrating 10 years in the local biz, with a new EP recorded with Jonathan Wyman, Ebb and Flow, that hits Bull Moose April 20, with a release show April 24 at the Big Easy. Along the way, they’ve shuffled line-ups, refined their sound, and learned to work with the right people (this disc gets the Adam Ayan treatment from Gateway, too). Their sound has become polished and crisp, the kind of heavy rock you can listen to in the headphones and keep the volume down if you’d like, as there’s plenty of melody to carry the songs without crushing volume.

Really, all this band need now is a “hit.” They have a stockpile of good songs, but Loki haven’t found that magic bullet yet that could let them cross over into the mainstream consciousness: a song everyone can love.

Their closest effort here is “Struggle,” the first of these six songs to be released on MySpace. It’s very well executed, with quickly picked guitar in the open; a big, radio-friendly chorus; a raging rock guitar lead; some solo bass work from Seth McClellan that slows not quite into an all-stop; and then a call-and-response in a revamped final chorus. Taylor shows off more range here, too, moving toward Geddy Lee-like higher-register and operatic-clean delivery. That sentiment — “there’s something in the struggle” — speaks to the feeling of pride people seem to have as they endure stoically what is really an utterly crap time to be trying to make a buck.

It’s no wonder the opening “Halflight” and “Just Above Zero” show us protagonists who have “never believed in today” and accuse others that “you don’t mind if I can not be the truth.” When executives who are responsible for losing hundreds of millions of other people’s dollars get to keep their jobs and soon ask for bonuses, it can make you wonder what, exactly, is real.

With so much earnestness and emotional investment, though, I needed a release valve sometime along song four — maybe a two-minute song fragment to use as transition. The closing ballad, “Swim,” seems more like a bolt-on than a change of pace.

Alleviating this, though, is that Taylor has lightened up. In “Moochers,” even as he angrily demands, “don’t take from me ... I’ll push you away,” he often finishes verse lines arching up, which makes him sound happier than usual. Is it harder to do that down-in-the-mouth material than it was in their early 20s? Even if you’re still using your music as an outlet for aggressive and defensive tendencies, it’s harder to keep everything so serious when you’ve got a little more perspective and realize it doesn’t all matter as much as you thought it did.

You also see this in the jazzy segues here, where McClellan and drummer Adam Nichols take a series of two-measure places to shine. The bass intro to “Quicksand” is positively funky. Funky?

Ten years in, you should be taking some chances and spreading your wings, and Loki shows they’ve got the maturity and creativity to have actually made a mid-career record in what’s looking like just the middle of a long career. - SAM PFEIFLE


"Bull Moose Waterville to host Modern Rock Act LOKI"

WATERVILLE, Maine – award-winning modern rockers Loki will play a special in-store acoustic performance at Bull Moose in Waterville's Elm Plaza, 13 Elm Street, on Saturday June 28 at 4 p.m. The four-piece act will perform acoustic versions of their material and give the audience the first opportunity to buy copies of their new EP entitled “No Disclaimers.” Loki was awarded first prize in the 2008 Benchmark Multimedia Battle of the Bands in Portland following their stunning live performance at the Big Easy on May 30. The month of June kicks off a series of CD release parties around Maine and New England, including the Providence Rhode Island area. For more information and gig listings: www.myspace.com/lokiband Loki was formed in 2000 and has released two full length recordings – Burn 2002 and Firelight 2004 – and an EP, Finity released in 2001. The name Loki refers to the Norse God of mischief. The band performs regularly at rock clubs around New England and has been played on WTOS 105.1 FM. - G Britt Client Press Releases


"Southern Maines LOKI to Play WTOS Competition"

Naming your band after the Norse god of trickery and change is kind of like walking around with a "kick me" sign on the back of your shirt: you’re just asking for it. "He’s the god of mischief. He’s good, and he’s bad. He’s a catalyst for change. We identify with him big-time," said John Taylor, vocalist for Loki, the southern Maine-based alternative rock band. "But he always messes with us. There are all these weird, unexplainable things that have gone on in the band. Strings fly off guitars, pedals break, we lose our drums. It’s just comedy at this point. It’s our penance for using the name. It’s kind of like a bull’s-eye on our backs." Incurring the disfavor of a guy such as Loki means that you’ve got to work extra hard to make what you do happen, and Taylor and guitarist Jonathan Boyer have had to do just that over the past eight years. Taylor and Boyer met while they were students at the University of Southern Maine. "We went to a party where all these musicians just showed up. Some people were playing the Doors’ ‘Riders on the Storm,’ and I just jumped up in front of the mike and started singing in front of 200 people," said Taylor. "Boyer was in the crowd, and the next day he came up to me and said, ‘Do you want to start a band?’" It’s been a long journey for Taylor and Boyer, who have remained friends and creative partners despite the turmoil that has surrounded them. For instance, Loki has had nine drummers over the years. Nine! That’s not as bad a track record as Spinal Tap, but still. How does that work out? "It just hasn’t worked out. Differences, conflicts. There’s a story for every one of them. It’s like girlfriends. At least they don’t die horrible deaths, like in ‘Spinal Tap,’" Taylor said. "We’ve played with some amazing drummers, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked until now." The current drummer, Adam Nichols, has been with Loki for two years, and shows no sign of leaving. Bassist Seth McLellan rounds out a lineup that Taylor says is the best one the band has ever had — which is why they pulled out all the stops when it came to recording and publishing their latest release, "No Disclaimers," a five-song EP, is sitting pretty in the Bull Moose Music top 10 local music chart. "This is the tightest we’ve ever been, which is why we called it ‘No Disclaimers’ — we wanted to record something that was solid, that we felt really proud about, and that we didn’t have to explain or make any excuses for," said Taylor. "We picked our five best songs that represented the full breadth of our material, and we worked with a great producer — Jonathan Wyman is an amazing guy — so we’re really, really happy about where we’re at right now." "No Disclaimers" is, in fact, a very solid release, and it showcases a band that’s been there and back, gaining serious musical chops, confidence and its own unique sound along the way. Loki’s songwriting skills are front and center on the album, especially on songs such as radio single "Clandestine," a dark, smart ballad that brings to mind the finer moments of Incubus or A Perfect Circle. This weekend, Loki will take the stage at the WTOS 105.1 Battle of the Bands, starting at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10, at the Skowhegan State Fair. The band was named one of the four listener-chosen finalists in the competition earlier this summer — all based on the strengths of "No Disclaimers" and "Clandestine," a song that was written by Taylor and Boyer about seven years ago. "We never scrap anything. All of our songs are like portals into a moment in time in our lives," said Taylor. "But as we grow and as Adam and Seth add their own takes to the songs, they evolve and mature. We’ve got so much material now, and so much history. As long as it’s me and Boyer, it’s Loki. It’s been a long road, and we’re really happy that’s it’s gone this way. I wouldn’t trade it for anything." Loki will play at the WTOS 105.1 Battle of the Bands Sunday. On Aug. 15, the band will play an in-store show at Bangor Bull Moose Music at 4 p.m., and a show with Soundbender starting at 8 p.m. at Club Geminion Harlow Street in Bangor. For more information, visit www.myspace.com/lokiband. - Bangor Daily News


"Facetime: LOKI"

That the Portland-based band LOKI encounters mischief all over the place shouldn't surprise you. They're named after the Norse god Loki, after all, who's known for nothing if not creating chaos and mayhem all around him - sometimes for bad, sometimes good, like when he contrived to get Thor his hammer. The band itself isn't about creating mayhem, but creating great music and, perhaps, inspiring change. Names, ages, hometowns, instruments, day jobs? (J.T.) Jon Taylor: 28; Winslow; vocals, melody and lyrics; account manager for an insurance company. Jonathan Boyer (AKA "The Fountain"): 29; Weymouth, Mass.; guitar, backup vocals, riffs engineer; works for a landscaping company in Portland. Adam Nichols: 28; Holliston, Mass.; drums; HVAC technician and journeyman. Seth McClellan: 23; Turner; bassist; home oxygen delivery technician. How would you describe your music? Loki brings a unique hard rock style to the table that embraces the resemblance to such bands as Incubus, Stone Temple Pilots and Breaking Benjamin. Philosophy driven by evolution, fueled by diversity. With fierce yet melodic guitar riffs, bone shaking rhythms and insightful lyrics. It is a blend that tries to transcend age, taste, style and creed. What's it like trying to balance your personal lives with the band? Great question. It is always a struggle. Having a band is like being in a close relationship with three more people. Schedules, family, appointments, work, social life it is all part of the struggle to have enough time for this dream and to keep moving onward and upward. Family always comes first, followed by whatever pays your oil bill! But this is what we want to do bottom line. Are you like, all into Norse stuff? Love Ikea? What's with the name? J.T. is, being Norwegian himself (his whole family is from Fargo, N.D., if that tells you anything, and they freakin love IKEA!). The name was accidentally discovered by J.T. during a college psychology class in which they discussed a theory called "Methods of Loki." Basically it stated that every adolescent male goes through an era of rebellion from ages 12 to 15 in which he goes against authority and society in an attempt at destructive self-expression. ... (The name is) from the Norse god of mischief and firelight. J.T. loved the concept and the name since it was so true. ... (Loki) is the god of change and, depending on the situation, he always has the choice of doing good or evil much like all of us. He is a trickster that enjoys pulling strings for better or worse. ... Everyone can change or change things for better or worse. In a way, there is a little Loki in all of us. Do you cause bundles of mischief wherever you go? Lets just say that mischief follows us. We have always had a theory about using the name LOKI. He either hates us using his name or makes us pay a constant price to use it. The band has always been surrounded by unexplained, strange and unusual circumstances. Electrical shorts, P.A.'s blowing up, amps, peddles, mics and lights malfunctioning at the worst times - just to name a few of the issues we have had. Stages have slid apart during sets. ... We do enjoy our share of pranks though, and are always trying to figure out how to get each other really good! Where do you see yourselves in five years, as a band? We see ourselves without a Maine address. To truly get to where we want to get we know that we need to move and expand outward. Although we love Maine and will probably always have a strong connection here we want to spread the LOKI fever globally. We hope that in five years this article might be worth something. Weirdest thing that's ever happened at a show? Well, this didn't happen at a show, but ... J.T. was frantically tearing the house apart because the lyrics to the new song "Dead Air" had mysteriously disappeared. He looked everywhere and after a weeklong search just told himself that they would turn up and to flub the lyrics during practices until they did. A few weeks after that they cleaned house and a bunch of stuff had been loaded up and brought to the nearby recycling center. J.T. was in charge of the stacks of newspapers and went over to the newspaper bins with his arms stuffed full of old issue. Right as he went to throw the stack into the deep bin, a huge gust of wind blew across his path and papers flew everywhere. In the commotion of papers a single sheet of notebook paper shot out of the stack and was flown into the air about 10 feet above J.T.'s head. After hanging there for a few seconds, another gust of wind caught the paper and slammed it against J.T.'s chest. He slowly pulled it off to reveal "Dead Air," the lyrics he had been searching for for nearly a month! If there hadn't been witnesses we wouldn't even bother telling this story. Things like that have always told us that we are doing something right. That song was meant to be found, written and recorded, just like (hopefully) this article was. - The Sun Journal


"The Drop: Mischief? Maybe."

By T. S. Chamberland , Staff Writer Sunday, December 14, 2008 But it's straight-on, melodic hard rock that gives LOKI its strong following. You know when you hear a band for the first time and instantly think it's got something new and fresh, something worth hearing over and over again? It's great. Almost euphoric. OK, maybe not euphoric, but it's an incredibly effective mood-lifter. The first time I heard LOKI, a Portland-based band who's played with bands like RA, Eve 6 and Powerman 5000, was at Festival Plaza in Auburn on July 19. The band generously agreed to play for a couple of hours during a Locks of Love fundraising event that I was part of. In the blazing sun and intense heat, despite the fact that they got little-to-no sleep after playing a gig in Skowhegan the night before, the band set up and rocked the plaza. On those merits alone I was sold. The band's name was inspired by a topic in a psychology class that vocalist Jon Taylor had taken at the University of Southern Maine. "The Methods of Loki" is a term suggesting that all adolescent males go through a rebellious stage - something Taylor identified with - and it gave him the idea for a potential band name. Formed in 2000 by Taylor and guitarist Johnathan Boyer, who was also a student at USM, LOKI went through several changes - possibly a tribute to Loki the Norse god of mischief himself, for use of his name, Taylor joked. They sifted through drummers and bass players until they found drummer Adam Nichols two years ago; nearly six months after that, bassist Seth McClellan joined the band, completing the strongest lineup to date. That completion became the motivation for putting out "No Disclaimers," LOKI's most recent EP. The band's desire to have a CD where all of the songs were created by the same four band members meant no longer having to explain that the drummer or bass player on this track or that track is no longer part of the band. "Everyone is devoted to this 100 percent," said McClellan, as he, Nichols and I sat in Nichols' living room Wednesday night. Nichols expanded, saying that because they knew the songs would be recorded and put out with the current lineup, they could focus on the music and making it the best it could be. "We really want people to be able to hear the music the way that we hear it in our head," said Taylor, who's favorite part of the music process is recording. And that drive paid off, as "No Disclaimers" continues to receive great reviews from area DJs, critics and fans alike. "LOKI is one of those local rock bands that can sit comfortably on most rock bills. They bring a more melodic hard rock sound to the table, but seem to be accepted by the harder rock crowds as well," said Mark Curdo, WCYY DJ. "They're hardworking and their latest record, 'No Disclaimers,' is a major up step for them." After stalking the band's MySpace for days and listening to "No Disclaimers" a number of times, I found it difficult to settle on just one of the five songs as my favorite. It seems to change by day, though ultimately I'd have to say it's "One Track Wasted." Harmonies that I would normally expect to be ill-fitted for the heavy guitar and bass riffs, are the perfect complement; any song that leaves my head nodding or my entire body falling into a groove has got my vote. Sign me up, I want more. As for the guys' favorites, they seem to each feel connected with a different song. Nichols said "Whole Fist" tops his list because "it gets the blood pumping." McClellan said its difficult to look at the music objectively since he helped create it, but he really likes "Sidelined." "I would say for me, probably 'Clandestine' is my favorite," said Taylor. "Lyrically, my words are way more important than my vocals." The inspiration for "Clandestine," which was written in a matter of 10 minutes, came from Taylor's discontentment with politics during 2004-05. Their different musical tastes had me wondering what a band's dynamics are off stage compared to on. What is it like when you've got four guys working on one song, and everyone has an idea, a lyric or a riff that they feel passionate about? For LOKI, if something isn't working or they can't come to an agreement, they set that piece aside and move onto something else. Keeping the creativity flowing is the most important thing. Eventually, they may pick up a shelved song and fresh perspective makes it come together. "If you try to hard to force it, it's not going to happen. You just need to let it flow naturally," McClellan said. The guys are avid local music fans as well, supporting their friends in Dead Season and Losing Tomorrow. Whenever they see a band perform they look for specific things within the show and the band. "I like to see a band that has good command of the stage, is confident, looks like they are having fun, and likes to mix it up live and not do exactly what's on the album," Taylor said. Nichols hopes that people who listen to their CD, or see them live, get satisfaction out of it by just "enjoying" the music, and maybe feeling like they "can relate to it somehow." "Ideally, in a perfect world, I'd love to know that's what people are taking away from it." Nichols said. Discography: LP Born - 2002 Firelight - 2004 EP No Disclaimers - 2008 Upcoming shows: Jan 10, 8 p.m.: The Station in Portland, with Dead Season and Prospect Hill Jan 31, 8 p.m.: The Montsweag Roadhouse, Woolwich For more information visit www.myspace.com/lokiband - The Sun Journal


Discography

Discography

2000’s “Finity” EP
2001’s Born LP
2004’s Firelight LP
2008’s “No Disclaimers” EP
2010’s “Ebb & Flow” EP

Compilations

2005’s WTOS Homegrown Volume 1
2006’s WTOS Homegrown Volume 2
2007’s WTOS Homegrown Volume 3
2008’s Oasis Alternative Sampler Vol. VIII #5
2009’s 106.7 The Bone Rock ME Project

Photos

Bio

Based in the rising musical hub of Portland, Maine, Loki was formed by Jon Taylor and Jonathan Boyer in the year 2000 at the University of Southern Maine. In 2001 Loki recorded their debut EP "Finity”, receiving acclaim from fans and musicians alike. Loki had found their direction, a brand hard rock with unrivaled intensity that truly connects with it’s listeners. This direction resulted in both 2002's debut full length "Born" and 2004's "Firelight" LP's. Named after the Norse God of mischief & change, Loki has continually found themselves in a flow of challenge and perseverance allowing them to outlive many other musical acts. With the additions of Adam Nichols (drums) and Seth McClellan (bass) Loki has established their strongest lineup to date, 2008’s “No Disclaimers” EP the lineups first effort spent 13 weeks in the top 10 Bull Moose local CD Sales and has sold thousands of copies independently. The band returns Spring 2010 with a brand new EP titled “Ebb & Flow” recoded by award winning engineer Jon Wyman and mastered by multiple Grammy award winning mastering engineer Adam Ayan. With a sharp new sound and an ever growing loyal fan base Loki returns with more intensity than ever to unleash across the northeast