he awards season for the 2019 ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARDS provided ROCKWIRED.COM with a steady stream of traffic and a great deal of voter excitement throughout social media. Lacking this year was the promised awards show which was cancelled due to budget problems. "It was too bad that we couldn't deliver a fun, spirited awards show this year to bring the season to an end, but the enthusiasm of the voters this year was celebration enough for us." says ROCKWIRED editor-in-chief BRIAN LUSH "The awards season has to end somehow and our editorial year must go on. In a way, the ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARDS is the official close of 2018 for us as a publication. It's important for us to celebrate the talent that made the previous year extraordinary and now that the winners are being announced we can explore all that will be possible in 2019."
This awards season was the first to feature five additional nomination categories which included BEST ALBUM ART, BEST LEAD SINGER, BEST GUITARIST, BEST BASSIST and BEST DRUMMER "There are so many aspects to a great band, that we felt it was necessary to honor those aspects with their own respective categories." says LUSH "In making the READER'S POLL AWARDS a bigger, better deal, it was necessary to expand and broaden the nomination categories."
Coming away with a lion's share of the awards this year was the band CORNERS OF SANCTUARY with a total of four awards for BEST BAND, BEST LP, BEST ALBUM ART and BEST GUITARIST (MICK MICHAELS). 2018 was a challenging year for the band , who had replaced their lead singer, only to have their former lead singer FRANKIE CROSS step back into the fold and assist in the release of their now-award-winning album THE GALLOPING HORDES. Accompanying the release of the album was a first time tour throughout Europe. "I want people to feel that the band is maturing musically." said guitarist MICK MICHAELS of the band's latest album "This might be a dirty word for some people, but I feel that the sound is more polished. By "polished" I don't necessarily mean a glossy production value. There is a better production value on this album then there was on our previous album. When I say "polished" I'm referring to the quality in songwriting. I'm very proud of this album because of that and one of the things that made this album stand out songwriting-wise is that most of the band was involved in it this time. There was a real push to get everybody involved in writing."
CORNERS OF SANCTUARY - HAiL HAiL
The other big winner in the 2019 ROCKWIRED READER'S POLL AWARDS is the band TO WHOM IT MAY who has walked away with four awards for BEST MUSIC VIDEO for the song CALCULATE, BEST LEAD SINGER (JONATHAN JOURDAN), BEST BASS PLAYER (ROBB MARS) and BEST DRUMMER (DEXAS VILLAREAL). 2018 was a big year for the band due in part to the band being signed to the fledgling indie label G4L RECORDS, which put a little muscle behind the release of their album THE GREAT FILTER. With the year 2018 behind them, the sky is the limit for this band. "Musically, we've actually been hard at work on the next album for the last eight months." says JONATHAN JOURDAN of TO WHOM IT MAY. "We've got something really cool in the works right now. I don't know that I can say anything about it just yet, but basically, we'll be working on some new music."
TO WHOM iT MAY - CALCULATE
In the past, ROCKWIRED's reader's poll has featured two categories for solo performers - BEST MALE ARTIST and BEST FEMALE ARTIST. This year - due to a lack of solo female artists in the 2018 editorial calendar, the two categories became the BEST SOLO ARTIST category for the 2019 awards season. Former STUCK MOJO frontman LORD NELSON cinched the award on the strength of his new concept album BACK ON THE ROAD. "I really want people to go on that journey with us and know that they can go through things, but that they can also come back from things." said NELSON of his latest album. "We all go through so much stuff. I mean, how many people have committed suicide? I want people to know that life can be hard on you but that you've still got to keep going. You have to keep living. I'm just glad that I've got a great foundation of love and family and not everybody has that. If someone is able to grab or hear something that motivates them or gets them through another day, that actually makes me happy. I'm all about love. I want to be happy everyday of my life and I do my best to be that. Music is a big part of that and I just hope that people will be able to listen to this album and enjoy it and understand what I'm speaking about."
The Los Angeles-based funk rock band NEVERWONDER is no stranger to the pages of ROCKWIRED.COM. In 2018, the band came back with a vengeance with a new lead singer in FABIENNE GRISEL and guitar player in JAY WISE, picked up the pieces after numerous lineup changes and reasserted themselves as a rock n roll force with an R&B varnish that could go over in a big way. The band has walked away with the award for BEST EP for their self-titled, two-song release. Change has been a constant for this band, but founding member and bassist VINCENT RAMOS feels he has got the lineup that's going send this formidable enterprise into orbit. "NEVERWONDER has never been better. I attribute that to chemistry and the friendship that exists within this band. There is this willingness of all of the members to hear one's point of view and going that extra mile to make the songs better. Things have never been better. For that, I'm grateful for these two new players. It's a pleasure to go into the studio. It's a pleasure to go to show and it's a pleasure to hear them talk about music. They bring so much from their life experiences to their respective musical abilities. At the end of the day, it's all about the music. They have what NEVERWONDER has always needed and that is passion. It's all about the want and these guys bring it to every single rehearsal. Right now, we're on the course to take everything to another level."
Metal duo KRASHKARMA walked away with the award for BEST SONG for STRANDED off of their latest album MORPHED. Drummer and vocalist NIKI SKISTIMAS had this to say about the message behind the music on their latest album: "This album is all about waking yourself up inside and being aware and being alive and living your life to it's fullest potential and not taking any shit from anybody. That is kind of the whole theme of this album. It touches a little bit on the things that we are going through politically, but not in like one way or another. It's about seeing the whole spectrum of the world the way it is now and how people just need to be active and to make a stand for what you believe in and to stand for something. That is what we want to push out there in the world - Believe in yourself, believe in others, help your community and be strong together."
KRASHKARMA - STRANDED
CONTACT BRiAN LUSH AT: firstname.lastname@example.org