Psycho Las Vegas 2022 – Psycho Swim Notes

Posted in Features on August 19th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

Uniform (Photo by JJ Koczan)

08.18.22 – 11:03PM Pacific – Thursday – Psycho Swim

This is no place for lucidity.

I’ve been waiting weeks to say that. It is, however, a place for imposter syndrome, and I’ll admit to having already filled my quota of wondering how the hell I managed to get here. Considering I can barely get up to get myself a cup of water — I brought my pink water-drinking cup from home — let alone ice from somewhere down the hall, it feels pretty odd to not be at home right now. I am lucid, mostly. A little while ago I got back from seeing Kadabra at the Redtail and I guess that was the end of my night. I picked up a hamburger salad on the way back and that was dinner and I keep expecting it to kick in and have a surge of energy, but yeah, probably not.

Never had coffee today. There’s a Starbucks downstairs that I’ll hit in the AM. Desperate times, if I didn’t say that before.

Rifflord (Photo by JJ Koczan)

What I learned throughout the course of today is that Resorts World is fucking huge. It’s three or four or seven plus-size hotels all interconnected. I don’t even know where one casino ends and another begins, or what’s where or whose is anything and there are a lot of flashing lights and a kind of mall attached with a big chrome watery-looking ball in it that’s like the mall art you remember but on steroids or maybe given a grim alien reboot. Finding the check-in to get my wristband this morning was a hoot, and from there I had my work even more cut out for me finding the pool. I was back and forth a few times throughout the day — there was one point during Early Moods where, righteous and doomed as they were, I just needed air conditioning. That’s poolside.

No, I didn’t go in. A lot of people did. My bathing suit is in the wash, or at least it was when I left the house yesterday to go to the airport. Clouds rolled in as the afternoon went on and Rifflord begat Early Moods begat Uniform and so forth, but it wouldn’t rain until during Elder’s set, which even though it was dark already still felt something like a godsend. I had been headed inside anyway. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Early Moods (Photo by JJ Koczan)

The day was two days, how it worked out. I wound up splitting the schedule into two parts. Taking a break in the middle meant missing Deathchant, about whose set I’ve already heard good things, but made the rest of the day doable. Sometimes in life we have to make sacrifices. I’d rolled up early for Rifflord, got my bag searched for the first of three times today — the second time I was told to throw out my water bottle, which seems a little counterintuitive for an outdoor event in Las Vegas in August; I kind of felt like there should be refilling stations every two meters along the wall — and was asked about the camera gear but I said I was media (hence that whole imposter thing noted above) and they let it go. After I shot Rifflord and the head of Psycho’s team of 10 photographers came up to me and with a very West Coast manner, introduced himself and proceeded to tell me he didn’t know there was any outside media allowed to shoot the festival. The implication, of course, that I shouldn’t be there.

Well, there I was. One band, who rocked by the way, into a four-day festival, 100 degrees minimum with the sun trying to cleave my skull, and Photo Dude coming ’round to put me in my place. Yessir. Well sir, you see. And so on. He said his piece and even knowing I was right — which, yes, I was — it was still a kind of shitty way to start the thing. Fortunately, Rifflord had played “Tumbleweed” so I felt like I could take on anything the planet might put in my way, and it was too hot to be really bummed out. The trick is finding somewhere to be. Staking out a spot and putting yourself in it. I found a little shade toward the back and sat down. I’d been in one of the cabanas, but the people who’d staked it out came back and it was pretty clearly time to move on. I’d watch Early Moods, abscond for a few minutes to cool off by walking around the big, empty, fenced-off dirt lot that I assume is going to be eventually turned into some kind of ‘experience’, and then return for the finish of their set.

Uniform (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Classic heavy rock and doomer vibes. The morose aspects of Early Moods were a good setup for Uniform in that if Early Moods was bumming out about the world, Uniform were judging and finding it wanting. It made sense in a stages-of-grief kind of way. Rifflord and Early Moods were both bands I pointedly wanted to see, and Uniform’s harsher take — some industrial elements, mostly dark, aggro noise — was a shift in atmosphere that was welcome despite the groove the first two acts had established. By the time Uniform were finished, I felt like I was ready to die. I’d been hydrating and saying hello to the people kind enough to say hello to me, and I just plunked myself down at one point and did the math on eating and sleeping and found that their increasing my likelihood to last the full day made it worth a journey back to the room.

I did find my way back, eventually, but I’m still not sure that, say, if I was going to Dawg House to watch Elder at 1AM finish their rained-out set, I’d know how to get there. I’ll be asleep before then anyhow — already writing with one eye closed, which is never a good sign for continued consciousness. I ate a protein bar and then settled myself onto the bed, still not really having decided I was going to sleep. Then I turned off the light and was out in about five seconds. I’d set an alarm to be up in time for me to get back to the pool for Elder with flex enough that I got to see some of Bridge City Sinners’ goth-bluegrass, which was a good time, even if the singer seemed let down by the audience response. It was just starting to ‘cool off,’ so I got where both she and the crowd in front of the stage were coming from. Even having slept, I would hardly call myself up to full speed. And maybe it was a bad time to go off my meds after all. I don’t know.

Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Elder were next, and I’ll do you the favor of sparing you the music-as-magic-because-they-made-it-rain thing. I mean, yes, obviously that’s what happened, I just feel stupid writing about it. They weren’t through “Compendium” before it started coming down. As noted, they’ll be at the Dawg House — one of the many venue-type places nestled into the mall-ish area; I stumbled on it earlier — but yeah. I was on my way to catch Salem’s Bend who were on before Kadabra at the Redtail. I’d thought about hitting Eyehategod back at the pool and Midnight are Midnight, but there was no way I was going to make it. Death would occur. I got to see two bands I’d never seen before in Salem’s Bend and Kadabra, and that felt like a win, which I also kind of feel obligated to point out because some of the comments I got yesterday or whenever that was were a little off-putting, like I’m not enjoying myself. Well, I was getting on a fucking airplane. What’s enjoyable about that? Even if you’re looking forward to where you’re going, you have to get there first.

Psycho Las Vegas is really, really, really big. Yeah, there’s your pullquote — you’re welcome. I’m media! But even compared to when I was out here in 2018 and it was at the Hard Rock, it’s mammoth. Today there were four stages that had stuff going at various points. Tomorrow is six, and it starts at noon and it ends at 2:45AM and you could never see it all — they rightly call it a ‘choose your adventure’ festival — but it’s fun to try if completely overwhelming. I think that’s the idea. I think maybe it’s supposed to be fun. Sounds weird, I know.

Salem's Bend (Photo by JJ Koczan)

But you have to understand the scale of the thing. This morning, looking at the schedule for the next four days, it was like I was staring down a tidal wave or maybe more appropriately a sandstorm since we’re in the desert, and I hardly feel any different about that now that the day is over. However big you’re thinking it is, it’s bigger. It’s more on the scale of SXSW Music than a regular one- or two-stage fest. More like getting around a city.

I was ready for Kadabra when they went on, following the heavy boogie of Salem’s Bend, whose guitarist had a very proud aunt in the crowd and whose bassist opted to go without pants, presumably being fresh out of the pool. Good fun all around, and Kadabra followed it well, with a more drawn out, fuzzier take that still reminds me of the first Mars Red Sky record. Their Ultra album came out last year on Heavy Psych Sounds and was a gem that I thought didn’t get enough love. Having seen them live, now I know that’s the case. First smiling drummer I saw all day, and maybe a win on tone as well, but it was the melody, depth of tone and the swinging groove that had me locked in. All of that coming together in a languid nodder psychedelia given just enough push to keep rolling downhill? Sign me up forever. Or at least for the next album.

Kadabra (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Between the pizza joint, the Mexican place, the vegan place and the breakfast place, the nearest I got to a caesar salad was the hamburger-with-chipotle-dressing thing I ate a bit ago. Not something I’d likely order on a normal day — I have increasing trouble trusting red meat when I don’t know where it comes from — but glorious and quickly consumed for all that. My head has already started thinking about the long day that tomorrow will be, and that’s a good thing, but today was an interesting one. The heat, the sun and fatigue, disorientation, dreadful sobriety, and so on, were a drag at various points, but the music sounds good and it’s… fun. Still feels kind of strange to say that.

Tomorrow is the first day of the festival proper. I’m lonely but holding up. I’ve got Dreadnought, Stinking Lizaveta and Hippie Death Cult as one-two-three first thing in the afternoon, and coffee to find before that. First sleep.

Thanks for reading.

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Roadburn 2022 Makes Second Lineup Announcement

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Roadburn 2022 redefining heaviness

A lot to dig into here, and I suppose that’s not really a surprise when it comes to Roadburn announcements. Likewise, not a shock to see Emma Ruth Rundle and Lingua Ignota here, as both are album-of-the-year candidates among the underground critical literati and Rundle was supposed to curate 2020’s fest. Cool to see Messa make a return as well, and that new Mizmor is sitting on my desktop waiting to be dug into. The new 40 Watt Sun will make some resonant listening live, as it does on record, and I’m curious to dig into Hangman’s Chair, as my impression of them is they sound like Type O Negative but from Paris, which I guess is nothing to complain about. Jammers Kungens Män will be a joy for all who behold them, and Kanaan‘s heavy turn on their new album will bring Roadburn back to its stoner rock roots — if indeed that’s what they play — in a way that no one yet on the bill will do.

Oh, and Smote. If you haven’t checked out Drommon (review here), do that.

Like I said, a lot to dig into. That’s not even all of it, so don’t let me keep you:

New additions to Roadburn 2022

The second group of artists to be added to the Roadburn 2022 line up has today been announced.

Artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers, comments:

“Roadburn 2022 will be a festival of hope; a celebration of underground music by Roadburn alumni and young and upcoming bands alike. It feels so great to offer them a platform and it’s equally great to offer our community their much missed home away from home. Despite the difficult circumstances with live music we remain optimistic and move forward with caution. It’s not easy but we’re really hopeful to be able to welcome you to Roadburn 2022. The idea of celebrating together makes everything worthwhile.”

Lingua Ignota will return to Roadburn in 2022, following two explosive performances at the 2019 edition of the festival. Having released SINNER GET READY earlier this year to widespread critical acclaim, the return to Roadburn is well timed to showcase her new material.

Emma Ruth Rundle will take to the main stage to present her groundbreaking new album, Engine of Hell. Due to be our curator in 2020, we’re delighted to welcome Emma back to Roadburn and to have her step into an even bigger spotlight this time around.

Following on from the recent announcement of a new album, Perfect Light, 40 Watt Sun will also perform on the main stage in April. Mizmor will return to perform Cairn in full, as was originally intended as part of Rundle’s curated event, which due to the pandemic didn’t come to fruition.

After performing alongside Dylan Carlson and as part of Zonal in previous years, The Bug will return – this time with MCs Flowdan and Logan to accompany him. Milena Eva & Thomas Sciarone’s curated event gains a new name: Sordide will be performing their most recent album Les idées blanches in full.

A rejuvenated Sum Of R will perform their upcoming new album, Lahbryce, in full on the main stage. Messa’s recently announced album, Close, will be performed, as will A Loner – the new album from Hangman’s Chair.

Cloud Rat will perform two sets, including a special Do Not Let Me Off The Cliff electronic-based performance. Uniform will perform their album Shame in full. HEALTH, Kælan Mikla and KANGA will provide some end-of-the-world dance party vibes. Meanwhile, Smote will perform their new album, Drommon in full.

Also announced is Fågelle, Kanaan, Kollaps, Kungens Män, Pinkish Black, and Wyatt E.

These names join previously announced artists including Ulver, Sólstafir, Alcest, Backxwash, Russian Circles, artist in residence – Full of Hell and many others. Roadburn Festival will take place between April 21-24 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Tickets for Roadburn 2022 are on sale now. Friday and Saturday day tickets are sold out. Thursday and Sunday day tickets, 3-day and 4-day tickets remain in limited numbers. Tickets and accommodation options are available to view via

Smote, Drommon (2021)

Hangman’s Chair, “Loner” official video

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Roadburn 2018: Weedeater, Greenmachine, Grave Pleasures, Årabrot and Many More Added; Tickets on Sale Oct. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Looks like Roadburn 2018 is already doing that thing that Roadburns do where they completely overwhelm with their scope and the promise of what’s to come with their lineup each year. This is, what, the second announcement for next April? Seems early for such things, but to have Weedeater confirmed to play God Luck and Good Speed and Greenmachine doing all of D.A.M.N. is pretty gosh darn special. I’m eager to find out who’s going to be the artist-in-residence — though Walter very pointedly uses “artists” below, so maybe there’s more than one — but there’s plenty to chew on in the meantime, so I won’t delay any further and let you get to it.

Also note the new venue. This fest just keeps expanding. Pretty soon every streetcorner in Tilburg will have a Roadburn venue. I’d be cool with that, by the way. Totally cool with that.

Here’s the latest:

ROADBURN 2018: Further names confirmed ahead of ticket onsale

– Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas to perform Mariner for the final time at Roadburn 2018

– Weedeater will play God Luck and Good Speed in full

– Grave Pleasures confirmed

– Greenmachine will play D.A.M.N in full as part of Jacob Bannon’s curation

Sixteen new artists have been confirmed for Roadburn 2018 ahead of tickets going on sale next week, on October 19.

Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers commented:
“We’re thrilled to bring you this set of announcements ahead of the tickets going on sale next week. We have a lot more still to come including our Artists in Residence for 2018, and two specially commissioned performances. The artists that we’ve commissioned will be familiar to Roadburners, but they will be performing pieces of music that have never been heard before – just for us! We’re still confirming the final details before we can announce those shows but we already know this is going to raise the creative bar for Roadburn.

“We’re also very pleased to confirm that we’ll be making use of a new venue at Roadburn 2018. In response to feedback from our attendees, we have found the perfect space at the Koepelhal – just up the road from the 013 – to spread out a little bit and provide a fantastic space for bands and audiences alike.”


No strangers to the Roadburn stage, Cult of Luna have a rich back catalogue that has traversed many a strange land over their almost two decades. But when they teamed up with inimitable New Yorker, Julie Christmas, to create 2016’s Mariner album, the collaboration brewed up something truly magical.

Originally planned as a studio-only venture, the Swedish-American collaborators were coaxed into playing out last year as they performed a handful of European shows. The demand for North American shows warranted a short tour this past summer, and now they look to add a full stop to the Mariner experience, with a final performance at Roadburn 2018.

We find it hard to say no to Cult of Luna in any guise, so we’re thrilled that the feeling is mutual – and that this time around Julie will be along for the Roadburn ride to perform Mariner, in her words “one more fucking time!”. Whilst we are inclined to refute the adage that all good things must come to an end, if that’s really the case, we’re determined to give Mariner a proper send off.

Cult of Luna and Julie Christmas will perform Mariner on Thursday, 19 April at the 013 venue. Read more here.


Weedeater have always epitomised the true essence of what “stoner” music should be. It’s not enough to just add fuzz, or to jam out for hours while super high. Weedeater flirt unashamedly with doom and sludge, they have bite, a sharp attitude, gigantic riffs and a unique personality, not to mention the unpredictability factor brought by Dixie Dave’s irresistible antics.

Which is why, in 2018, the return of the much-loved weed-fuelled trio is not just a “normal” return. Braces yourselves… Weedeater are going to play, exclusively for Roadburn, their seminal 2007 album God Luck And Good Speed in full.

We’ll let you know what time Weedeater will be playing on Thursday, 19 April at the 013 venue in a few months, but you know it doesn’t matter – it’ll be 4:20 in any case. Read more here.


Grave Pleasures have now finally truly arrived at the peak of their creative powers; their new album Motherblood is a truly defining piece of work that will delight anyone – old Beastmilk fans, more recent Grave Pleasures devotees, absolute newcomers, essentially everyone with ears will not be able to resist the cheeky, mischievous glee with which the Finnish band welcome the end times.

Grave Pleasures play on Sunday, 22 April. Read more here.


As part of Jacob Bannon’s curation, Japan’s GREENMACHiNE will reunite and perform their D.A.M.N. album in its entirety at Roadburn Festival 2018. Originally released by Man’s Ruin Records in 1995, D.A.M.N. is the monumental album that raised GREENMACHiNE to cult like status, making them the Japanese counterpart to bands like Buzzoven, Cavity, Jesuit, and others. Its sound blurred the lines between Stoner Rock, Sludge/Doom, and Hardcore/Punk worlds.

Jacob Bannon comments:
“D.A.M.N.” was released by Man’s Ruin Records during the golden era of that influential label. For me, GREENMACHiNE were one of the bands that really connected with me in that stable. They were more intense than other releases the label was producing, and their origins within the Japanese Punk/Hardcore scene made them a welcomed mystery. A quality that was deepened by their subsequent breakups and brief reformations throughout the years. I am excited to finally see them unleash these brutal songs live at Roadburn 2018, it is an exclusive experience that is not to be missed.”

Greenmachine will perform as part of Jacob Bannon’s curation at Het Patronaat on Saturday, 21 April. Read more here.


Currently reinventing himself musically and spiritually, ever forward thinking and his eyes and ears set on the future, is Dutch breakcore pioneer, Bong-Ra. Together with his cohorts – whether it’s his partner in dark matters, Svart Lava, or by way of inspiring the elusive Phuture Doom collective – they are pairing a futuristic take on modern day occultism with an eclectic outlook on (doom) metal and electronics.

Future Occultism will be presented at Roadburn in three parts: Bong-Ra, Servants Of The Apocalyptic Goat Rave (the binary view and vision of Future Occultism), and Phuture Doom (their preachings: digital sonic alchemy).

Future Occultism will take place in the 013 venue on Thursday, 19 April. Read more here.

ÅRABROT will defy explanation as they take to the stage  FURIA set to balance unhinged ferocity with intricate melody *European Exclusive*  Read more here
GOST will help us party our way to oblivion  Read more here
HELL to perform potent and evocative self titled album  Read more here
MAGGOT HEART will be making themselves known by force Read more here
MIZMOR  rise from a slumber to play Yodh in full *European Exclusive* Read more here
OCCVLTA will raise your fists for old school black metal  Read more here
SANNHET promise a sensory assault   Read more here
THAW to deliver a night of challenging sonic chaos  Read more here
UNIFORM are a duo defying convention, bringing audio warfare to Roadburn Read more here
WREKMEISTER HARMONIES will captivate hearts and minds with an unpredictable set  Read more here

Already announced:
Godspeed You! Black Emperor playing two sets, Converge (performing You Fail Me, and The Dusk In Us in full), Hugsjá (a collaboration between Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik), Panopticon playing two sets, The Heads, Bell Witch, Ex Eye, Igorrr, Sangre De Muerdago, Aerial Ruin.


As Roadburn’s popularity has increased over the years, we have strived to maintain the intimate atmosphere whilst comfortably accommodating our growing audience, and the demand for certain shows. We’re thrilled our 2018 edition will see the introduction of the Koepelhal as a Roadburn venue.

Located just a few minutes walk from the 013, the venue will house our merchandise for artists (meaning a return to a more laid back atmosphere and greater opportunity for interaction between bands and fans!), as well as being used as a 1,200 capacity stage on the Friday and Saturday of Roadburn 2018! This will allow us a bit more room and help to avoid queues, which we know will please attendees! More info on venues will be available in due course.


Roadburn 2018 tickets will go on sale on October 19. They will be available to purchase in person from the 013 box office from 18.30- 20.30 local time, and online worldwide from 21.00 CEST / 20:00 BST /15:00 EDT / 12:00 PDT.

3 and 4 day tickets will be available, with day tickets going on sale at a later date.

4-day-tickets €198,40 (including €3,40 service fees)
3-day-tickets €175,40 (including €3,40 service fees)

Camping tickets will also be available to purchase, with additional options (such as Festipis and camper vans) also possible. This year the urban campsite will be in a new location – but still within walking distance to the 013 venue – providing a comfortable and affordable option for Roadburn attendees.

Click here for more information on tickets and the campsite

Roadburn 2018 lineup announcement by Costin Chioreanu

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