COURTESY MAVERICK RECORDS
Screamo rock band Story of the Year, above, and As I Lay Dying, below left, will share the Pipeline Cafe stage next Wednesday night. Motion City Soundtrack, below, performs at the club Saturday.
As I Lay Dying rises again on Wednesday.
In Concert At Pipeline Cafe
Located at 805 Pohukaina St.
Motion City Soundtrack
With local opener Linus the Band:
» Time: 7 p.m. Saturday
» Tickets: $20, all ages
» Call: 926-3000 or online at presaleticketsonline.com
Story of the Year and As I Lay Dying
» Time: 7 p.m. May 31
» Tickets: $25, all ages (those under 18 must be accompanied by adult)
» Call: 589-1999 or online at ticketmaster.com
Nick Hipa, lead guitarist of the San Diego-based Christian metalcore band, returns to his island birthplace for the second time in as many years. Since the band's last visit in late February of 2005, As I Lay Dying released a sophomore album, June's "Shadows are Security," and has been aggressively touring behind it ever since.
The band was in Osaka, Japan, earlier this week with headliners Story of the Year, who will also share the bill here. (Whetting the appetite for rock fans will be one of the better indie bands around, Minneapolis' Motion City Soundtrack, Saturday night.)
Hipa's role in As I Lay Dying is laying down screaming solos amid the band's sonic maelstrom. The band has already done three videos to promote "Shadows are Security": The spiritual rebirthing of "Repeating Yesterday," plus "Confined" and "The Darkest Nights," both featuring actual singing, courtesy guests, in stark contrast to the guttural vocalizing of Tim Lambesis.
Hipa spent his preteen years with his family in Aiea. After his parents' divorce, he followed his mom to the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. He switched from acoustic guitar "when she bought me an electric guitar when I was in the seventh grade. After that, I was heavily into Ozzy Osbourne -- when Randy Rhodes was still with him -- and Metallica and Pantera. I wanted to shred like my heroes."
After a couple of stints in high school bands, Hipa went to the University of North Texas as an English major, but left one semester before graduation to live out his rock 'n' roll dream. He's been with As I Lay Dying ever since the band started its association with indie heavyweight Metal Blade Records, and the release of a 2003 debut album, "Frail Words Collapse."
"As we're all growing a little older together," Hipa said, "we're getting smarter in the way we're writing songs. We construct them to provide a solid flow, and we're writing the best songs possible. Over time and the constant touring, I think we're maturing a lot. In fact, we're eager to start writing for the new record. There's been a natural progression to our music."
The guitarist's influences range from late legends Jimi Hendrix and Wes Montgomery to such contemporaries as jazz-fusion specialist John McLaughlin, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez.
Hipa's personal favorite from "Shadows are Security" is "Through Struggle," "one of the thrashier, metal songs on the album."
AFTER the pulse-pounding syncopated onslaught of As I Lay Dying, will come the contrasting screamo power of Story of the Year. The band's latest album, on Madonna's Maverick label, "In the Wake of Determination," shows off its adeptness at all things rock. Want something with a little melody? Try "Take Me Back." More metal? "Our Time is Now." Punk? "Stereo." In need of an ear bleed? " 'Is This My Face,' He Asked Them." And, for good measure, a band manifesto (complete with '80s rock guitar solo), "Five Against the World."
And when's the last time you heard a pop-punk band with Moog synthesizer? Keyboardist Jesse Johnson provides just that for Motion City Soundtrack, led by the vulnerable vocals of guitarist Justin Pierce.
The distinction of the band's Epitaph album "Commit This to Memory" is that former tourmate and blink-182 superstar Mark Hoppus produced the project. MCS, as a whole, has a solid sense of songcraft, exemplified by songs "Everything is Alright," "Time Turned Fragile" and Pierce's solo turn on "Together We'll Ring in the New Year."