By Alex Kantarelis
Massachusetts is a state with an obsession for heavy music. In the past 10 years, some of the most influential hardcore bands have gained success by starting in our state. Bands like Have Heart, Bane, Mental, Give Up The Ghost (American Nightmare) and The Hope Conspiracy have toured the world and reached thousands of people. With such a rich scene, it’s always good to see a new band pop out with guys who come from hardcore backgrounds.
Welcome to the fold, Sparhawks. The new four-piece instrumental band is far from hardcore, though the members have their roots in the scene. Their sound is more of mix between jazz and rock, with a mellow, yet groovy, vibe.
There is something about hardcore bands that sets them apart from everyone else. Members bring a certain level of energy and excitement to the way they play. Sparhawks’ sound is anything but hardcore, yet they bring the hardcore mentality to their songs and live sets. Even if the music isn’t necessarily heavy, they still play as hard as they can.
Guitarist and founding member Vlad Kolodyazhny said, “I like bands with high energy… I want to be able to transfer that energy into a different genre of music. That excitement [of hardcore] still remains.” Kolodyazhny played in numerous hardcore bands, including Streetsweeper, a band that played quite a bit all over New England in the late 2000s.
Sparhawks is totally different from Streetsweeper’s aggressive sound, but the songs speak for themselves as incredibly catchy instrumentals that stand alone. The band got its start late in 2012 and has a sound reminiscent of Sunny Day Real Estate, At the Drive In and Minus the Bear. While the group has no vocalist, the melody of the guitars steps to the front of the song, and each song works incredibly well.
In 2012, the band released a demo, which is available on its bandcamp page, and finished off the year recording a full-length album. While the full-length is all instrumental, just like the demo, the Sparhawks are not opposed to the idea of adding a singer.
“We are a powerful instrumental band. We have enough going on that we don’t need a singer, but we are open-minded to it,” Kolodyazhny said.
This year should be a good year for the guys, as they plan to release their full-length album and continue to play live all over the state. Look for them at a show soon, and go listen to their demo, because it rocks.
For more information, visit sparhawk.bandcamp.com
By Dorit Slotow
Tierre Diaz (aka Killa-T) is proof of the amazing young talent in Worcester. This 21-year-old hip-hop artist was born and raised in Worcester and has been surrounded by music since his youth.
Diaz has gained a solid fan-base because of YouTube and Facebook. “Right now there are so many rappers using YouTube, flooding videos and entering contests. So I sometimes use different ideas, such as comedy sketches, webisodes and even webcam interactions, to differentiate myself from other rappers,” he said.
Being a Worcester native, it is only natural that Diaz has his favorite location to perform in the area. “I love Tammany Hall. I’ve done so many shows there, and every time I come back, it’s like family. I know the stage so well,” he explained.
Diaz believes that Worcester has always been a very hip-hop-heavy city, and he has worked with many other artists from the area, including Native Assassin, Dizzy Dizasta and J Black. Diaz has created a number of songs, one that stands out to him is “Do You.” Diaz said the song brings out intense emotions in him. “I guess it’s because the topic is real close to my heart, and it’s actually a catchy and positive tune at that. The crazy part is that I wrote the song faster than any other song I can remember,” he said.
This determined musician is constantly working on new projects. “Right now, I’m working on my latest mix-tape, which I’m thinking of calling OverKill. To be honest, I could’ve dropped this months ago, but I’ve been working on it so long, I want it to be as perfect as it can be,” he said.
Diaz is also working on his first album. “I hope to release it somewhere in late 2013, but it will be my first official album release, produced by ZeroDegreeZ and released on Hy-Town and Caramelo Records.”