Aggression. Anger. Frustration. All of these are very strong emotions. All come to mind while seeing Walls Of Jericho front woman Candace Kucsulain perform live. The band has a very hardcore sound and her vocal style is one more commonly known as "screamo", but she is a very intense individual onstage. I had a chance to interview Candace recently and was really surprised with the woman that I found offstage.
"I got into music early on. I loved going to shows in Detroit because back in the day, the hardcore scene was pretty intense. You could go to a different show almost every night and not see the same band twice. I was looking for something , anything that was different. I never got into this to become the next Korn or Limp Bizkit, I don't wanna be on the radio .I never really got into this to be a rock star," said Candace.
Candace is a very strong and powerful front person if you ever get to see the band live. She is somewhat intimidating and looks like she could kick some major butt and take names too. How does she come down from that after a show? "Well, we are still very hands on after the show , you know, tearing our gear down and everything, plus we like to meet the fans afterwards too. It takes a while to come down from that high of being onstage. It's fun meeting fans and it also blows my mind to have someone tell me that they know how I feel or that I have helped them with my music in anyway. Music has a way or reaching people when they feel like misfits or that they don't belong. I know it helped me when I felt that way."
The band has had a wild ride along the way since its inception. The bands' first EP was released in 1999 entitled "A Day and A Thousand Years" and a buzz started to grow about the band through intense touring. The band was signed to Trustkill Records that same year and released their first full release "The Bound Feed The Gagged" and hit the road again. Oddly enough , the band took a hiatus from 2001-2003 due to personnel problems and each member went their separate ways. Candace actually took up body piercing during her time off. The band got back together in 2003 and started touring yet again. They released a new CD in September of 2003 entitled "All Hail The Dead", which received rave reviews and actually catapulted the band to to opening for much larger, more established acts as Hatebreed and Sick of it All plus headlining their own shows.
2006 was a major year for the band seeing their CD "With Devils Among Us All" being released and the band was asked to join one of the biggest tours of the summer, OZZFEST. They also played the Family Values Tour that year where they met Corey Taylor from Slipknot and hit it off well. Corey said that he wanted to produce the band and they joined forces on an EP that was a major departure for the band. It was called "Redemption" and was released in April of 2008. It was all acoustic and showed that Candace had an amazing singing voice that is rarely showcased.
The band released "The American Dream" in July of 2008 which featured their more aggressive style of playing . They took part in the summer tour package Rockstar Mayhem Festival with Slipknot and Disturbed before headlining shows to support their new CD. When asked about a favorite song on their live set, Candace said, "My favorite songs to perform live would have to be "Feeding Frenzy" because the crowd really feeds off of that song, the really connect with it. I also like performing "The Prey", that's more for us because I really like how it vibes on onstage."
What are some of your highlights of your career so far? "I would have to say all of the amazing people that we have met so far. I still am caught off guard when a fan tells me that they were touched by me because they thought they were the only one who felt that way. Knowing that what I am doing made a difference in someones life is mind blowing. I guess the other highlight would be the amazing places that I have been to that I would have probably never had been able to see. I love Prague and Singapore, those are amazing places."
My last two questions are more on a personal level being a huge music fan myself. If you could meet any dead celebrity, who would it be? "Oh, without a doubt it would be Janis Joplin. What an amazing woman! She was a pistol, so full of life. Just imagine the stories that she would have."
My last question is my if you were on a desert island with only one store bought CD, what would it be? " I can't pick just one, it's an either or choice. I would say Bob Dylan's "Greatest Hits" because it is full of ups and downs and some of the most amazing lyrics ever written. It also conjures up such great memories for me. My other choice would be one that is a little less known. It's by Ray LaMontagne and it's called "Trouble", an amazing CD."
Our interview concluded and I must say that the intimidating, aggressive woman that I have seen perform on stage is so different from the woman that I spoke with that day during the interview. She still is a very strong, determined woman, but not so aggressive. Fans of hardcore and metal do need to pick up their new CD "The American Dream" and check it out. Standout tracks include "The American Dream" and "Discovery Of Jones" and the surprising acoustic closer "The Slaughter Begins."