The Campaign 1984
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The Campaign 1984

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Jul
25
The Campaign 1984 @ Stella Blue

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Jul
03
The Campaign 1984 @ Ruby's

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Asheville, North Carolina, USA

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Who?

Asheville, NC's The Campaign 1984 - a quartet that plays rock n' roll their way. Whether the band's name is a reference to Walter Mondale's ill-fated presidential campaign or not is still to be determined, but it's an original name that stands out.

How is it?

Their latest CD Southern Gentlemen arrived in a brown paper lunch bag with the band’s insignia stamped on the front, as well as a release date and track listing. Included in the mix was a DVD of the band’s video for single “Stonewall" from their last album. Immediately, one could sense, this band was a breed all their own. Then the music started, and me oh my, is this disc something else. It’s southern-rock inspired by post-hardcore which draws heavily on the musical groundwork laid by seminal party rockers Guns N’ Roses. This is raw, in-your-face, cacophonous music that is equal parts busy, chaotic and racy. Armed with a heavy swagger and a serious attitude, this music hits from the very first note and never lets up.
- Absolute Punk


"This is damn good. Dirty southern punk rock and roll. Seriously dirty! The guitar work is sick, with some GN F'N R-esque shreddin' goin on. These dudes are impossible to describe, even harder to classify, but it just doesn't matter. This CD is fucking fantastic! And an acoustic song about drinkin' whiskey and being an alcoholic? Doesn't get much dirtier or more southern than that! They fall into the screamo-ish trap on one song on here, which was a surprise given their other songs -- but they manage to get right back outta there and rock again. And these dudes self-recorded this thing -- DIY. Punk fuckin' rock!!" - Amp Magazine


Jesus. Another singer totally biting Grey Matter and 3, but god damned if the band backing him up isn't a rock and roll bitch and a half. It's not metal. I won't even pretend. This is straight punk rock that would fit in well with a ticket of Supersuckers, Rancid and Face to Face. What the band lacks in metal they make up for in full-on rock and roll tremor. This is a band to take your girl to go see so you can A: dance, B: drink and C: fight and still feel good about yourself in the morning.

Fine and good, but it's not metal. It goes great with metal, but is not metal. As such you better be well aware of what you are getting into. What you might enjoy is the chord progressions and the energy, and the fact that this band is not pretending. But you will not have your head taken off, nor will you get your shred on. The solos are good rock solos, but these fuckers are not going to be worrying Anata on the tech front. And the production is decidedly punk. In fact it resembles the best stuff from Soul Asylum - pre "...And the Horse" era - more than shitty "punk" bands like Blink 182.

I won't spend a shitload of time on this one, spec wise, because if you are THAT punk that you need to know every nuance, why the fuck did you come here in the first place? And if you are a metalhead who is maybe just curious, you are getting all you need. The songs take the style of a Rolling Stones based rock and roll band that fell into a post hardcore vat of Supersucker filth. The musicianship is above punk average and fits the sloppy faux blues-based rocker image the band is projecting. I already addressed production.

As an aside, the song titles are gems. "God Don't Need A Damn: He Can Walk On Water" and "Mix Tape For Danzig". Consider my doors wide open and my table set.

Bottom Line: I have unlimited space in my heart for real rock and roll, and at its heart, all good punk is real rock and roll. And this is good punk, albeit slightly too close to the contemporary mean in some aspects, but at least it's not entirely three chord downstroke chop and muted two-stringers like the rest of its class. It's honest to god - tongue in cheek - rock and roll songwriting played with sarcasm and good cheer. It's the perfect redress to an overdose of techdeath or blackpomp or even pop punk sugar coated breakfast cereal inanity. Does it get old before it's time? Yeah, but very little in the way of punk can be taken in large doses. Nevertheless, and despite it's obvious unmetal style, this fucker gets a nod. - Metal Review


Before you even got the chance to decide not to give the Campaign 1984's last album a chance, they’re back with their label debut on Five-Point Records, Blood for Nashville. And though it may be hard to fathom, they’re still playing that Southern rock inspired post-hardcore that few acts are even bothering to touch nowadays.

Heavy bass lines and choking open up Blood for Nashville's first track, “Mommas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Junkies.” The song introduces sing-alongs into the Campaign’s style with ”We are the living dead,” which thankfully reoccurs throughout the album. “God Don’t Need a Damn He Can Walk on Water” features a pleasantly catchy chorus of “The way she walks, the way she moves. It drives me wild, it drives me crazy.” While the lyrics clearly aren’t something to write home about, the execution of them is noteworthy.

The album remains generally consistent until “Star Spangled Showdown,” where the Campaign opt for a more ‘cheesy’ approach to lyrics when they throw in “Dirty, dirty South ain’t nothin’ to fuck with.” As if that wasn’t enough to throw you off, “Mix Tape for Danzig,” a two-minute, acoustic track about alcoholism comes into play.

Blood for Nashville returns to its state of “normalcy” in “God Didn’t Give You That Mouth for Talking,” the most ambitious, busy track, followed soon by “Robert E. Lee Verse the Concrete,” whose opening could make you easily mistake the Campaign for a hardcore punk band. Finally, “Hold Me Closer” ends the album with somewhat of an epic, power-ballad sort of feel. Feel free to wonder what in the world you just listened to.

While Blood for Nashville still gives off vibes reminiscent of the Bronx, classic Southern rock influences definitely have precedence with this release. And with a raw, clearly not overproduced release, the Campaign 1984 are ready to continue treading on this relatively uncharted post-hardcore territory.
- Punknews


In a scene where a few screams throughout an album will get you monstrous sales and a plethora of pre-pubescent, tight pant-dawning fans, the Campaign 1984 surely fit in. However, they surely do more than just pick up easily-drawn in fans with tendencies to cross-dress with their independent release Jazz For Burning.

Jazz for Burning is 27 minutes of Southern rock-influenced post-hardcore that’s both addicting and satisfying, with certain, unparalleled qualities to keep you coming back for more. Vocalist Matt Anderson, who can undeniably be compared to the ever-so-raw Keith Buckley, delivers unrefined, in your face lyrics, while backup vocalists Dakota and Justin contribute effective screams time and time again throughout the album.

“I’m not a rockstar / I’m a fucking asshole” begins the album with an accurate depiction of what’s to come. “This Band’s Got T-Shirts” is riddled with smart vocal alterations and drum beats that would be hard not to carry out on one’s body. “Salem” follows in the same pattern with the almost infectious rhythms and moments of clapping.

“A Different Kind Of Hurt So Good” will surely captivate the most indifferent fan and introduce them to the world of the Campaign 1984 where the lyrics are the only thing dirtier than the guitar riffs. Though the Campaign attempt a similar breakdown in “Last Week's Tragedy Between Commercials,” the follow-through is both cautious and efficient in “A Different Kind Of Hurt So Good.”

Jazz for Burning manages, for the most part, to dodge genre boundries. The album boasts a more hardcore sound in tracks like “Nascar Jihad,” while others rely solely on the Southern rock guitar riffs (see: “Your Revolution Believes In Magic.”) With such a variation in composure, hearing one song alone won’t give you the proper idea of what the band’s all about.

With such an impressive self-released full-length, the Campaign 1984 should definitely prove themselves to be more than worthy to stand in front of undeserving acts such as Fight Paris, who even with the help of Trustkill couldn’t produce a record worth more than having sex to. Axl Rose just may be a proud papa. - Punknews


The Campaign 1984's sophomore release takes southern rock to a new level. Claiming influence from Queens of the Stone Age and AC/DC, their rock-and-roll fathers would approve.
Dear readers, let me assure you that I have been to my fair share of ridiculous southern-rock-band-poser shows. These guys are the real deal. Their influence from the Southern culture can be seen in the titles of their songs alone. For example, consider "Stonewall." Any freshman in high school can recognize the Confederate relation, and their music isn't intended for any younger of an audience than that.
Beyond that, the slick guitar riffs, dynamic tempos and tight vocals make each song a journey of rock. Though a few songs tiptoe on the border of screamo, The Campaign 1984 slowly backs away from rock catastrophe.
Some songs, like "UpTown Vampire," (available for your listening pleasure on their MySpace page) have a shake-your-rockin'-body beat. Interestingly, there are a few precious acoustic and slower songs. The vibrant nature of the music would certainly get a head-nod from diversity capital Asheville, the band's hometown.
Based on the vigor of the album alone, I would bet a live show from this group would be high-energy and far from dull. But don't take my word for it. Find out for yourself! Your first chance will be at the February 28 Open Mic Night, hosted by LMP. The show starts at 7 pm, so come join the crowd or visit the band's MySpace page, www.myspace.com/thecampaign1984. - Western Carolina University


Politics, partying and punk may sound like a usual combination, but the The Campaign 1984 has managed to fuse those elements together to spread their band's sound across the country.

The Asheville, N.C. band formed in the fall of 2004 and consists of Matt Anderson on vocals and guitar, Justin Biltonen on guitar and backup vocals, bassist Jordan Luff and drummer Jeremy London. The musicians came together after playing in other bands around the area.

"Me and Matt started the band," Biltonen said. "We'd both been playing in other bands around town, but we wanted to do something that was a little more rootsy."

The Campaign 1984's current lineup has been in place for a year in a half since it added drummer Jeremy London. Their name is a reference to George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984."

"'1984' is don't ever get too comfortable or put all your faith in the government. You've got to open your mind and think for yourself," Anderson said of the book's and the band's outlook. "Know what's going on and be aware. The dangers of all the world combining into one government … the dangers of being a slave to technology, your phone, your TV and your computer."

Although the group has a political message, it's not the only theme.

"We definitely have a really punk-rock mind set," Anderson said. "But we're not trying to be dead serious. We don't try to oversaturate people with politics. We write about touring and drinking and girls and having fun and playing shows."

The band's style is varied as well, combining elements of Southern rock, classic rock, punk, metal and blues.

"The best description I've ever heard is the attitude of AC/DC with the sound of the Allman Brothers," London said.

The band members also mentioned comparisons to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Queens of the Stone Age and the Foo Fighters. "We always just tell people rock 'n' roll," Biltonen said.

The band has gone on 20 tours in the past, touring at least two to three times a year for the past five years and traveling to California, Vermont and Florida.

On this tour, The Campaign 1984 will play 20 shows in 25 days throughout the Southeast, beginning with a show in Asheville to support their new EP.

The EP, "Black Magic Revival," was produced by Roger Alan Nichols, who also produced "All We Know is Falling" by Paramore. The band also has three full-length releases to their name: "Southern Gentlemen," "Blood for Nashville" and "Jazz for Burning."

At the Athens show, audiences can expect a fun night.

"We try to play every show as if we were playing in front of 100,000 people. We try to give it hell," London said. "Mostly just a good time. We do a lot of crowd interaction, try to make it worth their while to come."

The other band members agreed.

"It's just a feel-good, party, rock and roll atmosphere," Anderson said. "We want people to have fun and drink and enjoy themselves and not take life too seriously."

http://media.www.redandblack.com/media/storage/paper871/news/2009/09/14/Variety/The-Campaign.1984.Finds.Balance.With.Partying.Politics.Rock.Blues-3770132.shtml - Red and Black - UGA Student Paper


Running away from home and rebelliously denying where you came from may be a very rock ’n’ roll approach to life, but it was accepting, even embracing, those roots that turned things around for the Asheville, N.C.-based rock band The Campaign 1984.

For the first two years after they formed in 2004, members of Campaign were doing their best to emulate the West Coast punk bands they grew up listening to.

The problem was, they were Tar Heels, not Angelenos.

So instead of trying to be the next NOFX or No Use for a Name, they decided to look a little closer to home, said guitarist/vocalist Matt Anderson.

“It suddenly clicked one day that we’re from North Carolina and we always get made fun of for being Southern, like when we were on tour (as a punk band) in LA and New York, so we decided we should embrace it,” he said.

“That’s when the band started taking off, and our songwriting started taking off, too.”

Although the bands music has a distinctly Lynyrd Skynyrd/Allman Brothers quality to it, the remnants of the band’s roots in more aggressive music are still evident in the heavily distorted guitar riffs, pounding drums and Anderson’s throat-eviscerating vocals.

In the band’s latest release, “Southern Gentlemen,” available free to download from its Myspace page, the band splits the difference between its two primary stylistic influences.

Some tracks embody a scorching punk heat while others dip more into laid-back country/blues.

Having laid claim to their roots, the music just seems more authentic, Anderson said.

“What we realized is that it’s just as insincere for these bands from LA to try and be in this Southern rock band,” he said. “When we did that, it was funny because we got such a good response in LA.

“The people there are real music snobs, but when we got there and were doing our thing, our Southern rock band thing ... they ate it alive; they loved it.” - Chattanooga Times Free Press


Chattanooga Times Free Press music reporter Casey Phillips spoke with Matt Anderson, lead vocalist/guitarist with the Asheville, N.C.-based Southern rock band, The Campaign 1984, about why they’re offering their latest album for free and paying their musical dues.

CP: When did you make the transition to playing Southern-rock-inspired music as opposed to punk?

MA: That was about two years ago. We always had a hint of it in us. We always were a Southern punk band, but two years ago, we stopped being a punk band pretty much. We’d always done it a little bit from the beginning, but we just went head over heels, all in, about two years ago. About three years ago, I started playing guitar since I used to just be the singer. It was after I started playing guitar and started writing songs for our second record that the band started to change. There’s a different feel that you have when you’re just a lead singer than when you have a guitar in front of you. Your look, your whole mentality, changes when you have an instrument.

CP: After making that transition, did music come easier to you?

MA: Yeah. That was the thing. Growing up listening to all these bands from L.A. and Newy York and different scenes around the world when I was 14 or 15, I wanted to be an East Bay punk band. When you get down to it, though, it’s just so insincere for me to be in an East Bay punk band. What we realized is that it’s just as insincere for these bands from L.A. to try and be in this Southern rock band. Two years ago, things also turned around because we went to L.A. for the first time. It was a weird kind of pilgrimage because, growing up, all I ever wanted to be in a band and tour around the country. The bands that could tour from North Carolina to California and back was, to me, a big deal. When we did that, it was funny because we got such a good response in L.A. The people there are real music snobs, but when we got there and were doing our thing, our Southern rock band thing in cowboy boots and jeans and trucker hats, they flipped out. They ate it alive; they loved it.

We got into that style as a result of our tour. The van we tour in is an old race van for a Harry Gant, who is a race driver from these parts, so we had these Copenhagen Skol van we travel in. It started out as a joke. We started wearing boots and it was just fun. We were on tour, so we were constantly trying to out do the other bands, so by the time we got to L.A., we were in the middle of our acting as redneck as possible kick, and they ate it up. We made a point to continue to embrace it. We’re not trying to be gimmicky or hokey about it, but people expect something from you, especially when you travel to different places. I remember one time, I asked the girlfriend, now wife of the record label executives we were with, what she thought about the South. She said, “Well, I think the people from the South are stupid and can’t read and don’t have any teeth.” I was like, “Thank you,” because that’s what we’re dealing with.

We embrace the stereotypes but also try to break them. Our music is Southern and it sounds like where we’re from, but if you delve deeper, it’s deeper and has a lot more to think about. It makes your message more powerful when you interweave it in that fashion. You expect punk bands to be political and really hard to the left, but you don’t expect a Southern rock band to make you think. You expect us to sing about drinking and women, which we do sing about, but there’s a message, too. It becomes more sincere because we’re saying it in our language, the way we talk and the way we were raised. We’re talking with all the same nomenclature and vernacular of the people around here, but the content has changed.

CP: Even though you’ve made that transition to a more Southern sound, though, it’s obvious that there’s a lingering aggressiveness and smoldering nature to your music that speaks to those punk rock origins.

MA: Yeah, that fire we’ll always have. Our new record, which we’ve got online for free for anybody to download, we range everywhere from really hard-hitting music to straight-up country songs with fiddle playing in the background and laid-back acoustic songs. We don’t take those into the live show so much because we try to keep the live show hard hitting. That’s one thing people say who come see us play, what impresses people about our band, is that it’s Southern, but it’s heavy. We’re fast and loud and aggressive.

We all want to be in a band where I can throw my guitar around or bend the microphone stand or where I can get on my knees. To me, it’s such a release. I’m not saying you can’t get that release in softer music because you can, but it’s not as instant. We try to get up there and leave it all on stage, and it’s a lot easier to do that coming from a heavier punk background. We’re not a band that’s concerned with every note being on tune or every time change being accurate. We’re not that kind of band. We’re about coming to a show and being part of the moment.

CP: Was it a tough decision to alter your entire approach to music? Obviously, it was opportune since people seemed to respond to the new sound, but was that initial decision to try something new difficult?

MA: It’s a hard thing for us because we’re really trying to be sincere and not just ride genre waves and stuff. When we first started being Southern rock people didn’t like it. When we started the band four years ago, we were just a little rock’n’roll, and people didn’t like it. Our first shows were for 15 people in town, and we decided we just didn’t care. We self-booked shows and toured around the states, and when people heard that, our shows started filling up. Sometimes it takes time for people to catch on, and sometimes, they never catch on. Ultimately, you have to do it for yourself, and if you’re not, I don’t think you shouldn’t be doing it. When it turns into this job where it’s all about money, that’s when something needs to change. I’m not saying I don’t want to be successful, but you always need to keep in mind where your roots are from.

That’s the reason that millionaires that come from nothing are so much grounded than millionaires whose daddies were millionaires. Those kids become drug addicts, lose control and can’t do anything. You can draw a similar parallel with bands because bands that grow up and do every step along the way like playing the crap shows and the dives and do it all on their own, when they get to the top, they’ll have respect for it. That’s opposed to people who luck into the golden ticket and go straight to the chocolate record. If you don’t have the middle ground, the record company or your tour manager will completely own you because you don’t have any of those skills that you earn. We booked our own tours and put out our own CDs. We get that and have dealt with it. It’s almost a handicap not to have dealt with it.

CP: Why did you decide to offer “Southern Gentlemen” free to download online?

MA: I feel like true bands, good bands, no matter what the economic situation is or what the downloading situation is, are going to sell records. They’re going to sell something, whether tickets or t-shirts or whatever. We’re trying to be the kind of band like the Misfits or bands that are cultish where if you like one of our songs, you like every song we’ve ever written. At this point, I think it makes more sense to give them the record and get them to come to the show and buy t-shirts and stickers and come to more shows than to try and sell the record for $10.

Sure, I wish we could sell my record. We’ve had a couple thousand downloads, and I’d definitely love to have $20,000, but I think it’s marketing. You’ve got to put it out there so people can get it. Every single one of our records we’ve recorded and mastered ourselves. It’s completely DIY. My friend Byron and I made “Southern Gentleman,” and that took eight months of my life to do.

I get mad when bands release one good song and want you to buy the record. Those are the bands that are hurt by the downloading. Bands that are trying to get known and trying to build up fan bases who have a solid record are doing just fine. I don’t think they’re getting hurt. I think what the Internet does is level the playing field for everybody in the sense that the better bands survive as opposed to the better marketed bands. In the ’80s and ’90s, it didn’t matter if your band was good or not as much as how much money was behind you. It’s making it easier for people with something good to say without the financial backing behind them to share their creativity with people around the world. - Chattanooga Times Free Press


Discography

Black Magic Revival (Demos)

1. Werewolves
2. Bender
3. Gold Rush
4. Slingblade

"Rivergate EP" 2009
1.One Night Stand
2.Queen of The Damned
3.Hot Love

"Southern Gentlemen" 2008
01.Gettin' Late
02.The King Is Dead
03.Hit The Bottle
04.White
05.Streetwalker
06.The Hell Outta California
07.Bender
08.A Little More Talk A Lost Less Action
09.City of 10,000
10.The Reaper
11.Evansville
12.You Me and The Devil
13.Stonewall

"Blood For Nashville" 2006
1. Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Junkies
2. Sandy Get Your Gun
3. God Don't Need a Dam He Can Walk On Water
4. Uptown Vampire
5. Big Band Vandal
6. Star Spangled Showdown
7. Mixtape for Danzig
8. God Didn't Give You That Mouth for Talking
9. Sunday's Best
10. Robert E Lee Vs. the Concrete
11. I Sold My Soul for Rock and Roll
12. Hold Me Closer

"Jazz For Burning" 2005
1. This Band's Got T-Shirts
2. This Gun Is An Orphan
3. Salem
4. Jazz for Burning
5. Last Weeks Tragedy Between Commercials
6. Your Revolution Believes in Magic
7. Nascar Jihad
8. A Different Kind of Hurt So Good
9. The Acquired Taste of Track Marks
10. This Dance Leaves Room for Jesus
11. Dance Dance This Revolution Away
12. Three Generations of Pantera Between Us

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