Walls Of Jericho
The name Walls of Jericho often conjures up Biblical images of chaos and destruction. But this Detroit-based metalcore band is breaking down barriers in a far less calamitous way.The name Walls of Jericho often conjures up Biblical images of chaos and destruction. But this Detroit-based metalcore band is breaking down barriers in a far less calamitous way.
Tattoo-laden singer Candace Kucsulain, who screams and roars her way through the band's Trustkill album "With Devils Amongst Us All," is a virtual anomaly in the hardcore metal world, which hasn't stopped her or the band from making inroads on the scene since forming in the late-'90s.
Last week, "With Devils Amongst Us All" debuted at No. 24 on the Top Heatseekers chart.
"It's been hard to break down some barriers and get where we are right now," Kucsulain tells Billboard.com. "It's unfortunate but sometimes you just have to prove yourself. If that's the way it's got to be, that's the way it's got to be. I'm up for the challenge. I have been for eight years, and I'm not going to stop now."
In fact, Kucsulain and bandmates Aaron Ruby (bass) Dustin Schoenhofer (drums), Chris Rawson (guitar) and Mike Hasty (guitar) have scored opening slots on several high-profile festivals this year. Their biggest being on this past summer's Ozzfest and the current Family Values tour.
"Ozzfest was amazing, there was no problem fitting in at all," says Kucsulain. "Family Values is a little tougher. Us and Bury The Dead are probably the heaviest bands on this tour, and people who aren't used to hearing our type of music go, ‘Whoa, what the hell is going on?' Some people rock out to us, and then others you can just straight up see it upsets them. But it wouldn't be rock'n'roll if it didn't piss some people off."
Sometimes it's hard to win the crowd over, but Kucsulain and crew always find a way to make the best of a difficult situation.
"We played in an almost-hurricane the other day in Jones Beach [N.Y.]," she notes. "It was insane. There was water on each side of the stage 'cause it's kinda on the ocean, and the waves were crazy. So we dressed up as pirates and just had the dumbest time ever. I had an eye patch on, and I kept ‘Argh'ing at the crowd and calling them scallywags. It was just so stupid, we had such a great time. I don't think I sang the first three songs because I was laughing so hard."
The show was a perfect example of how the band takes everything in stride, including the naysayers who think a woman shouldn't be aggressive onstage.
"It's frustrating, of course, because it's just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life," says Kucsulain. "I can't concentrate on those people. I have to concentrate on people who are there to have a good time. I really hate concentrating on it being a man-woman thing.
"I'm so tired of the fact that it's even part of any conversation," she adds. "If you keep putting emphasis on it and you keep talking about it, people are going to keep feeling like it's a big deal. It is rare, and it's less accepted for sure. But it's a man's world everywhere -- everywhere. It's no difference in music. But f*ck that, who cares? I don't want to think about it. I just do what I do, and I have to be who I am."