The Rust Belt Chronicles preview #4 for Danny Wimmer Presents’ Louder Than Life!

Louder Than Life just keeps creeping closer and closer so I hope you have taken the time to get your tickets ordered. This year’s lineup is highlighted by Ozzy Osbourne with Zakk Wylde as well as Five Finger Death Punch, Prophets of Rage and Stone Sour just to name a few.

If you are waiting to get that ticket ordered you don’t want to wait too long or it may be you may be on the outside looking in. Head over to and get yours today.

Danny Wimmer Presents has put together and outstanding lineup and The Rust Belt Chronicles have been giving you a preview of what to expect.

Today we feature Sleeping With Sirens, Starset, Of Mice and Men, Eagles of Death Metal and Hollywood Undead.

I’ll begin with Sleeping With Sirens, a member of Warner Bros. Records The band got its original start in Orlando, Florida but now calls Grand Rapid, Michigan home. The five-piece (six if you count touring member, Alex Howard) was formed in 2009. They have released five studio albums including this year’s “Gossip”.

Their debut release, also in 2009, “With Ears it See and Eyes to Hear” hit #7 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Two years later they made it onto the Top 200 list with “Let’s Cheer to This” which peaked at #78.

“Feel” (2013) carried the band’s momentum even higher as it opened up at #3 on the top 200. SWS’s success continued in 2015 when they dropped “Madness” which hit 13th on the same chart.

Sleeping With Sirens hopes to live up to those standards with their latest compilation, “Gossip”, that is to hit the shelves next Friday.

Kelli Quinn (keyboards) does lead vocals for Sirens while Nick Martin and Howard handle the rhythm guitar and backup vocals. Josh Fowler is the lead guitarist and adds in the programming with Justin Hills (backup vocals) and Gabe Barham (drums) making up the rhythm section.

Starset met immediate success with their launching of “Transmissions” in 2013. Their debut reached #49 on the top 200 and #5 on the hard rock charts and featured hits ‘My Demons’ (#5), ‘Halo’ (#16) and ‘Carnivore’ (#16).

Not resting on the laurels of “Transmissions”, Starset unleashed “Vessels” earlier this year and the sophomore follow-up was everything that first album was and more. Riding on the success of the single ‘Monster’, “Vessels” climbed to # 11 on the top 200 for the Razor & Tie artists.

The Columbus, Ohio band is made up of Dustin Bates on keyboards, switchboard and lead vocals. He also dabbles with the rhythm guitar on occasion.

Ron DeChant (backup vocals) shares time at the keys but is the band’s bassist by trade. Adam Gilbert (drums) is DeChant’s partner at putting out the powerful rhythm. Brock Richards picks at the lead guitar while lending a hand to Bates with his backup vocal work. They also integrate the working s of Jonathon Kampfe on cello and Siobhan Cronin on the violin into the mix while touring.

Starset is one of a handful of acts who will be playing during the 2018 Shiprocked Cruise.

Another band who has Columbus ties is Of Mice and Men. The metalcore group is a direct link to the band Attack Attack!, which has also spawned the groups Beartooth and Nine Shrines. The connection here is former lead singer, Austin Carlile, who has departed the band twice due to medical issues.

In 2009 the band began their discography with their self-titled album that eventually rose to #115. “The Flood” was in fans hands in 2011 and was popular enough to drive the CD up the charts to #28.

It would be three years before new material was presented by OM&M, this time it would come in the form of “Restoring Force”. It lived up to its name as it debuted at #4 on the top 200 and hit number on the indie charts.

Their latest work, “Cold World” came out in June of last year and would go on to peak at #20 behind the singles ‘Pain’ and ‘Real’.

Aaron Pauley is now the man in the middle as well as providing the thumping of the bass. Phil Manasalsa provides the brute force on the skins with Valentino Arteaga strumming the lead guitar for the Rise Record signee. Rounding out the lineup is rhythm guitarist Alan Ashby who also duals as backup vocalist.

What began as a tongue in cheek name, Eagles of Death Metal are anything but death metal. Known more for having a rockabilly/garage rock sound, they were formed in 1998.

Jesse Hughes (vocals, guitar) and Josh Homme (drums, bass backup vocals) are the only permanent members of the band. But they supplement that with touring members which currently includes Dave Catchings (guitar, vocals), Jennie Vee (bass, vocals), Eden Galindo (guitar, vocals) and Jorma Vik (drums).

EODM put out their first album in 2004 (“Peace, Love Death Metal”) and followed that up two years later with “Death By Sexy” (#113). In 2008 the band unleashed their most successful piece of work “Heartland” which peaked at #57. “Zipper Down” released by Downtown Recording Studio in 2015 finished two spots lower on the charts.

Our final band for this particular preview needs no introduction. Hollywood Undead has been doing their thing since 2008 and were a chart setting member out of the gate beginning with 2008’s “Swan Song” which hit #22. Their second album (2010), “American Tragedy” opened at #4 behind the strength of singles “Been to Hell”, “Hear Me Now” and “Bullet”.

“Notes From the Underground” hit the market three years later and would become the highest ranking album the band has had, elevating to #2. In 2015 “Day of the Dead” made it to #18 on the top 200 with the title track being a major reason why.

Now working on their tenth year in the business they will be releasing “Five” independently on their own label on October 27th. ‘California Dreaming’ is the first single to be put in video format and was directed by Brian Cox who the band has collaborated with on several occasions over the years. The video has well over a million hits since being released in July.

Hollywood Undead has never disappointed any time that I have seen them. I’m looking forward to this go around as well all seeing all of the other talented bands that make up Louder Than Life’s musical lineup. Collectively Jorel ‘J Dog’ Decker (vocals, guitar, bass), Dylan ‘Funny Man’ Alvarez (vocals), George ‘Johnny 3 Tears’ Ragan (vocals, bass), Jordan ‘Charlie Scene’ Terrell (vocals, guitar) and Daniel ‘Danny’ Murillo (vocals, keyboards) are as artistic as they are talented and entertaining.

Tyler Mahurin is a touring member that plays the drums and has since 2014.

Once again don’t hesitate to get those tickets at

Until next time this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/


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Larry Ritter About Larry Ritter

Hello my name is Larry Ritter, or “Big L” to most of my friends. I’m a production supervisor for a major manufacturer of auto parts here in northwest Ohio. I received an Associate’s degree from Owen’s Community College where I graduated cum laude honors. I have a true passion for music, sports, photography and riding motorcycles. My love for these things are surpassed by just one thing, family, which includes two sons, a daughter and eight grandchildren.

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